– Community Partner –
“It can be good and not be ours, but it can’t be ours and not be good.” – John Kratz, Co-Founder of West Bend Elevator
John Kratz’s motto sums up the foundation of West Bend Elevator, who we are, and how we approach every day here at the Elevator. It has been serving our customers well for over 70 years.
On January 1, 1947, John L. and Grace V. Kratz purchased the West Bend Elevator, located at 204 Wisconsin Street. For years West Bend Elevator served its customers from a modest site beside the railroad tracks, just off downtown West Bend. It was a bustling area, but it was also hemmed in geographically with no prospect for physical expansion.
In 1970, the company set out to purchase land as it could, often just a sliver at a time. The commitment and patience paid off when 10 acres were accumulated just north of the city of West Bend.
Gradually, the business was transferred out to the new location. In May of 1980, the process was complete. We have been at home here at 3434 Highway D ever since.
John and Grace worked hand-in-hand from the beginning. Grace did the books and John oversaw the rest of the business. In January of 1987, John passed away. At that time Dave and Joyce Gonring (John and Grace’s daughter and son-in-law) took over the business. They had both been working at the Elevator for over 30 years. Today Dave and Joyce along with their children, grandchildren, and employees continue to give the same type of quality service to our customers.
The West Bend Elevator consists of eight all-steel buildings: an automated feed mill, a country store, a seed cleaning plant, a corn cracking system, and four storage buildings. The Elevator is also capable of handling a half million bushels of grain storage. The Elevator maintains and services a fleet of 20 trucks.
For 70 years, our No. 1 goal has remained the same: help customers stay successful in an ever-changing marketplace. Our customers recognize West Bend Elevator’s commitment to quality and that’s why they return year after year. We don’t make sales… we solve problems.
West Bend Elevator also continues to serve our customers by sharing information about current topics and trends and offering networking opportunities. Whenever we see a customer need, we sponsor meetings for producers to gather and share ideas for addressing the new challenges. These meetings often take place on a producer’s farm to give attendees a hands-son opportunity to learn. Topics range from commodity prices and milk marketing to hoof trimming and forage production.
Service is the key here at West Bend Elevator, just as John and Grace Kratz believed in and delivered on from the beginning. Every person on our staff treats customers the way they would like to be treated. Our service starts with a friendly hello, which we follow up with the expert advice you need to make the best decisions. We’re here to lend a helping hand and a strong back – heavy bags of feed, salt and fertilizer are always loaded for the customer.
Joyce Gonring believes the tradition of the family-owned operation has been the secret to employee success and career longevity. All 35 full-time and part-time employees, whether they are Gonrings or not, are treated like family. “They are all my family,” Joyce, “and we take care of them and help them like a family does.”
John and Grace Kratz started a good thing and did it the right way. We’re here to see it through for future generations of our family… and yours.
Stop in and you’ll feel the difference.
YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, WE HAVE ANSWERS
Looking for a specific product? Have a question that doesn’t neatly fit into one of the categories above? No problem! Give us a call, reach out to us through our contact form or stop by our location for help from our friendly staff. We’re here for you.
West Bend Elevator
West Bend Elevator
3434 County D
West Bend, WI 53090
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Monday - Friday: 8AM to 5PM
Saturdays: 8AM to 1PM