Thriving Local: From Scraps to Treasure, Midway Iron Co. [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- A business that's practically been running the east side of St. Cloud for over 60 years is up next in our Thriving Local series, Midway Iron.
"It started back in the 1940s as Midway Auto Wrecking. When it first started they had Midway Motorcycle who sold Harley Davidson's and Cushman Motor Scooters."
The Robertson brothers originally owned the business. Today, Jason Lehnen is one of the owners of Midway Iron, along with his brother and sister. Lehnen says the business changed a lot before his family came on board.
"In the 50s or so they sold off the Midway Auto Wrecking part to Aaron Delinsky who in turn split the company, started St.Cloud Auto Wrecking, which was down at the end of Lincoln for quite a few years and then left this as Midway Iron."
Since 1959 the scrap yard and steel supply company has been Midway Iron Co. Lehnen says his parents started working for the business in the early 1970s.
"Aaron Delinsky who owned it at the time offered my parents the opportunity to buy it [Midway Iron Co.] other than selling it to one of the corporations because he wanted to keep it a more local, family-owned business."
His parents took over the business in 1987. In more recent years Lehnen says he and his siblings have been able to expand the business.
"Everything used to be on this [green building] side of the street, the steel department the rigging and the trailer supplies that we sold. Then we built a new place [blue building] across the street in 2000. Then we expanded that so both sides could grow."
Midway Iron focuses on recycling all types of metal. But don't be fooled their steel department and store is filled with a mix of old and new items.
"Our steel department sells all new steel so you can buy new stuff for trailers. So if you're building stuff they sell trailer supplies, rigging supplies, they also have high definition plasma machines that will cut out anything you could think of, they'll zip it out."
Over the years basic supply and demand has been the company's biggest challenge. However, looking toward the future the third generation is already coming on board.
"My son is 17, he's been working here for a few years already, throughout the summers and after school. He's got another year or so left of high school, he'll hopefully be coming in afterward if he decides to. Then I have a few nieces that are interested in the future too for working here. We want to keep the generations going and keep it [Midway Iron] in our family for as long as possible."
Midway Iron is on Lincoln Ave NE in St. Cloud. It's open Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and closed Sunday.