KINGSLEY, Iowa | Beginning in 2012 and continuing into 2013, Kingsley businesses have responded to demands for needed space and diversification by expanding their businesses.
“We outgrew our old facility,” says Rob Plendl, manager of Plendl Feed Service Inc., referring to their former Main Street location. The new building on Highway 140 has given the business the area needed due to tremendous growth in their DeKalb/Asgrow seed business as well as their chemical business.
The new warehouse has 19,200 square feet, of which 11,200 feet is cold storage with an unloading dock, and the remaining 8,000 square feet is a heated shop for maintenance and machine storage. The warehouse provides adequate feed and seed storage, along with a new seed handling and seed treatment system that meets the needs of today’s changing technology.
With the office area adding another 3,000 square feet — a spacious lobby, several offices and conference room — the building is 5.5 times larger than the former building.
Avantages of the new metal building are having one location for all products and services and providing the business with room for growth, one area of which is the feed and crop insurance company, serviced by Kevin Schaeuble and Shelly Jensen.
Services provided at Plendl Feed Service’s new location are many. One is customizing seed treatments a customer desires for their seed beans from Dekalb and Asgrow. Others are sale of livestock feed, state of art software to formulate diets which provide the best performance and are the most cost effective, and sampling and testing of feedstuffs. The business provides trucking for grain, livestock, and ethanol by-products, and chemical sales.
Reflecting on a new location and the services and products provided customers, Plendl said, “We aim to assist our customers in their continued growth, using ever-changing technology, enabling them to operate more efficiently and with more productivity.”
Another business that has moved to a much larger building is Rohde Funeral Home. The funeral home, located on West Second Street, is open, or about to be open, in the former Kingsley Home Furnishings building. At 7,500 square feet, the new site is five times larger than the West Second Street location.
“The community has been extremely supportive,” said Funeral Director Tami Rohde, “and the opportunity presented itself to move to a larger facility. In doing so, we can give back by having a larger and more open facility.”
Rohde says many changes have been made, both to the exterior and interior of the building since construction began Dec. 4, all intended to better accommodate the families served. The main entrance has been moved to the east side for easier access and features double doors and sidelights. A second door has been added in the southwest corner, a means “for people to exit without going back through the main entrance.” Outside, there is ample available parking, which will facilitate people coming to the funeral home and getting in easily.
Inside, there are three large rooms, the lobby, chapel, and fellowship room. Rohde says that the large lobby “will keep the flow moving. Lots of interaction occurs in the lobby.” The chapel seats approximately 200, and a mounted television is available for showing videos. The fellowship room, which contains a coffee bar, counter top and sink, is available for any family who would like a lunch for a nominal fee. “Anyone can rent that area,” says Rohde, “not associated with a funeral, just for any occasion.”
In addition to the three large community rooms, there are various office areas. In the arrangement room, a 55-inch screen provides for virtual viewing of available caskets. In the office area off the lobby, a two-way window permits one to see people entering.
The former owner of Kingsley Home Furnishings, Dave Riemenschneider, is moving his business, Small Town Sportsman, formerly in a small area of the home furnishings store, to another location in town, his former furniture warehouse on the corner of West Second Street and Main.
One advantage to the new location is that it is in the busiest section of town, offering maximum visibility. “At my former location,” says Riemenschneider, “people came to town looking for me, so location wasn’t so important. Now, the location will hopefully give me walk-in traffic.”
Products available will be hunting and fishing gear and accessories, also basic camping equipment for weekend trips.
Service is also stressed by the store owner. “To make me a little different, if someone comes in to look at a turkey call, for example, I would open up a package to show them how something works. I will be more than happy to do so. I also have a TV monitor for video demonstrations and YouTube videos. I intend to be very hands on in educating people.”
Riemenschneider anticipates the business will open its doors in the spring
“I’m going to really enjoy the store and the business,” he said. “I’ve always loved fishing and hunting and cannot see a reason why I wouldn’t enjoy doing it for a living. It’s not work when you’re doing what you love.”
Another business expansion that involves a move is that of the Hardie Insurance Agency, established in 1987 and operated by Chuck Hardie and Kevin Hardie, and the Chuck Hardie Auction Services.
That move is from West Second Street to the former Main Street location of Plendl Feed Service, Inc. One reason for the change of address is for the Auction Services. The rear portion of the building is completely remodeled, says Chuck, insulated, paneled, with heat, and with storage for auctioneering equipment.
“Part of our services will be to use the facility at no charge to accommodate people, if they wish to have a sale in the building,” he says.
Though that portion of the refurbishing is complete, that of the office area for Hardie Insurance is projected to be late 2013.
The reason for the insurance agency move, says Kevin, is a better location, more exposure. “People driving into town on 140 will drive right by. It is a much more noticeable building.”
The area for the insurance agency will undergo extensive remodeling and be accessible to people with disabilities. “There will be three offices, a reception area, a conference room, and a break room,” Kevin says. “It won’t be a whole lot larger for office space than now but better situated for us and the customers, a completely different setup and layout.”
Another business expansion in Kingsley is that of Malm Cabinets and Décor, also known to customers as Malm Flooring, owned by Benny and Karen Malm. The couple moved the flooring business last fall — established in 1976 — into a larger showroom within the same building complex on East Second Street.
That move doubled their showroom space, and the former showroom is now used for inventory. Their real estate business remains in its location between the new showroom and the warehouse.
The couple had planned to move into the expanded area before Pizza Hut came to Kingsley many years ago. “They came into town, and it was Pizza Hut or floor covering,” says Karen. Eventually, the area sat empty for a while, and the previous area was still crowded for displays. “This was vacant, and we went back to our original plan,” says Karen.
She said the advantages of the move within the building complex. “Everything—central air, central heat, you walk in and it is all open. We have a larger area for display, large windows, and it is easier to see the displays. There is much more ambience—more welcoming and warm.”
“And,” adds Benny, “when you drive by, you can actually see that there is a store; there is more drive-by exposure.”
Benny adds that very likely they will expand their inventory so that the customers will have more choices. Flooring choices now include carpet, vinyl wood plans, vinyls, wood flooring, laminates, dura ceramic, and cork. “There have been a lot of changes in the last few years in flooring, and it is exciting; hard surface has especially changed. Service is a big thing I have over the big box stores,” says Benny.
The move into the expanded showroom has been “very well received,” says Karen. “It is an awesome move. When God closes one door, He opens another.”
Another expansion that is in progress is that of Rick and Neal Rolling’s Rolling Oil Co.
“We just need more room,” says Rick of the 40-foot-by-80-foot repair shop being built to the east of the current building on East Second Street.
With farmers’ equipment and businessmen’s service trucks getting larger, the current two-bay shop does not accommodate that larger size. “The farm tires, everything we do is getting bigger. To accommodate the bigger pickups—light trucks—we need more space to get them inside,” notes Rick. “We will still use this space, but that shop will be in addition to this.”
The new repair shop also allows the brothers to diversify their business. Using a local contractor, the brothers foresee the added repair shop completed around July 1.
The Kingsley merchants, with their expanded space and moves for better exposure and diversification, have one goal, a better product and better service for their customers.