ST. CLOUD -- A business that has been successful for over six decades, East Side Glass in St. Cloud, is our next feature in our Thriving Local series.

"We're a third generation, family owned and run business. Our grandfather Jim started it in 1953."

Luke Ferkinhoff now owns the business along with his siblings Andy Ferkinhoff and Laura Hutt. Their father recently retired as owner. He says his grandfather started the business in a much smaller space than you see today.

"He started it out of his garage with his brother. They had rough go in the beginning but then there was a big hail storm in town and that sparked things."

The work provided by the hail storm helped the company move into its first location on East St. Germain Street.

"We were there until 2004 when we moved here [305 Franklin Ave NE]."

East Side Glass is still on the east side of St. Cloud, just off of Highway 10, and they do just about everything involving, you guessed it, glass.

"So we do residential and commercial glass and then retail. Not much auto glass but some. So [we do] commercial storefronts, entrances, new construction and remodels."

Over the years their residential business has grown.

"We do a lot of heavy glass shower doors, mirrors, a lot of glass replacements for broken windows and seal failed windows on peoples homes. Where it was never the focus of the business for a long time now it's a major part of it."

Although the business has seen its share of success, Ferkinhoff says times can still be tough.

"We're in construction so it's up and down with the economy, it's tough to insulate yourself from that."

Moving forward, East Side Glass would like to expand its service area toward the Twin Cities market. However, Furkinhoff says the Granite City will always take first priority.

If you have a suggestion for a business that's thriving locally here in central Minnesota, let us know! Email chrissy@wjon.com

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