Schaefer Door Co. Inc. of Washington marked its 30th anniversary this past June.
Schaefer Door is a full-service garage door retailer specializing in sales, service and repair of new and replacement residential and commercial garage doors.
The company sells, installs and services all types of overhead doors, electric garage door openers, rolling curtains, fire doors and mini-warehouse doors.
Martin Schaefer started the business as a part-time venture in 1988 to make a little extra money while working full time at another job.
Working evenings and weekends out of his home garage and his truck, he was determined to provide quality products and great service.
The company is owned by Schaefer, but he points out that he had a lot of help from the very beginning.
Help and support came from wife Nancy, as well as her parents Jim and Marilyn Schmitt, especially in caring for Martin and Nancy’s young daughter, Julie. Martin’s brothers Ray, John, and Jim Schaefer also all pitched in when needed. John became a full-time employee in 1995.
Martin’s parents, Frank and Theresa, added their support as well, and many friends were recruited to handle one job or another. In the beginning Bill Monroe, Eric Lause and Chris Lause helped with installations on evenings and weekends.
A Full-Time Business
One morning just after Schaefer had left for his “day job,” his wife received a visitor at their home. Local builder Allen Whitworth wanted to talk about buying a garage door. He agreed to meet with Schaefer that evening and “give him a chance” on a job or two.
Three decades later Whitworth and wife, Beverly, remain valued customers and friends of the business. Soon, more area contractors came calling and later that year Schaefer left his day job and Schaefer Door Co. became a full-time venture.
As the business quickly grew, Schaefer decided to rent office and storage space in the old shoe factory on Sixth and MacArthur Streets in Washington. The move required an on-site secretary, so Schaefer’s sister Mary Tobben came to work.
Showroom, Warehouse Facility
Enjoying steady growth each year, the business outgrew the rented space. In 1996, Schaefer purchased the property on Highway A that would become the site of the 6,000-square-foot facility that currently houses the business.
While the shell of the metal building was erected by GF Contracting, family and friends pitched in to help. Construction of the building progressed quickly and the business moved into the facility in September of 1996.
The building has seen a few upgrades since it was built 21 years ago, including new flooring and paint, a new awning and sign, and most recently upgrading all the warehouse lighting to LED.
Schaefer said he believes in hard work. He often says he would not ask an employee to do anything he isn’t willing to do himself, and he tries to be the hardest working guy on any work site.
Along with Schaefer, the company’s current employees have over 90 years of combined experience. The crew consists of Jason Addison, Josh Kleekamp, Dan Endres and Noah Addison, and part-time laborer Joe Schaefer.
Sales, scheduling and office management are handled by John Schaefer and Sue LaBeau.
Schaefer Door Co. workers are all paid employees with benefits. There are no subcontractors.
Schaefer Door Co. is proud to be a good customer to its suppliers. The sales agent from CHI often says Schaefer Door is not his biggest customer, but they are his best customer.
As seen in the plaques and trophies around the office, the company is consistently recognized for outstanding performance by CHI Corporation and Wall-Vern Company, two of its largest suppliers.
The company’s greatest endorsement is in the many contractors, builders and customers who continue to trust Schaefer Door Co. year after year.
Schaefer Door Co. is a member of the Washington Area Chambers of Commerce and licensed to do business in Franklin County and all the surrounding areas.
Schaefer said he has much to be thankful for, and is quick to note that the success of the business is thanks to great support from the community, family and friends.
He said he’s is grateful to the hundreds of clients who have chosen Schaefer Door for their garage doors, operators and service, and to all of the hard-working employees who have served.
The showroom is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Emergency service is available.