Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Business

March 16, 2014

Bursting at the seams: Maple Grove expands

Galveston distributor expanding to handle booming business.

GALVESTON — Maple Grove Distributing is running out of space.

It’s a race against time for the company to finish its new warehouse, which will add about 6,900 square feet of space for the company’s stock of small engine parts. The distributor is approaching its busiest season and this year’s bitter winter has delayed construction on the warehouse.

As it is, company owner Terry Finley was waiting for the ground to thaw just enough to pour concrete.

“It’s been a dream of mine for 20 years now,” Finley said as he stood on the gravel that awaited its concrete covering. “We’re at a point now that we had no choice.”

Inventory keeps piling up in the existing warehouse space — some overstock sits on unlabeled shelves far away from its assigned inventory spot just because there’s nowhere else to put it.

“It was either build a warehouse or go out of business,” Finley said with a grin.

Over the last month alone, Maple Grove’s inventory has grown from over $700,000 worth to more than $1 million worth.

“We’ve got the highest inventory now that we’ve ever had,” Finley said.

So he decided to expand, putting about $500,000 into building the warehouse onto the back of the existing Maple Grove barn, an icon in the Galveston area. The company received a six-year tax abatement from the Cass County Council for the project, according to Cass County economic development director Christy Householder.

Maple Grove, which was launched in 1938 to accompany a lawnmower repair business in Galveston, came under Finley’s ownership in 1986. He credits the help he received from his parents, Everett and Miriam Finley, as well as the employees for the success of the business since.

The company has seen growth of about 15 percent each year over the last few years, according to Maple Grove’s office manager, Jan Stroud, even during the drought in 2012.

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