A local business owner reports his company is having its best year on record.
Cody Holmestad, who co-owns Greentech Manufacturing with his wife Jessica, along with Ryan and Jaime Horne, said 2020 has been a year of growth and success for the company, located on Crescent Drive. The family owned and operated business manufactures outdoor furnaces known as Crown Royal Stoves, along with a full line of hydronic unit heaters and air handlers called Precision Metal Products.
“We’ve spent a good chunk of the past year working on our products to be more efficient and investing in new equipment,” Holmestad said. “We’ve had a great year.”
The co-owner explained the success 2020 stems back to 2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency adopted regulations for wood-burning appliances, and gave manufacturers five years to bring to market devices certified to meet those standards. The standards had two “steps”— an initial standard for 2015 and a tighter one that took effect in May.
The owners of Greentech made the decision to invest in the testing capabilities of their products.
“We didn’t want to take any risks – it can take a long time to prototype boilers to pass standards,” Holmestad said. “We invested in a state-of-the-art test booth within our facility to make sure we met and exceeded standards.”
The testing facility was installed by experts in the field, and for about a year, Holmestad said models were burning around the clock to make sure everything was in line with EPA standards.
“I literally lived (at Greentech) for about a year,” he said. “Others would take over from time-to-time, but I spent a lot of time here making sure everything was working and running like it should... We stuck with it. We had a lot of (people) involved.”
The investment was worth it. Greentech was one of only four companies to meet the stringent guidelines that took effect in May. To put the accomplishment in context, Holmestad said about 90 manufactures met guidelines back in 2015. The development knocked a lot of competition out of the market, he said.
“Our hard work paid off,” he said. “It’s extremely expensive to set up a test booth and it consumed countless hours, but it was worth it... What we have set up is just like an EPA lab. We can replicate tests they run.”
Efficiency and growth
Last year, Greentech completed its first overseas shipment of Crown Royal Stoves to the United Kingdom. When the company had to do EPA certifications for emission testing in the UK, Holmestad said they were able to utilize what they were going to do in the U.S.
“We passed (UK) standards and came back over to the U.S. to design standards over here,” he said. “For awhile, we were building two different designs, but knew the UK design was going to be transferred to the U.S.”
Crown Royal Stoves are 84-percent efficient, which in that market Holmestad said is nearly unheard of.
“Years ago, 70-percent efficient was hard to reach,” he said. “As of right now, we have the biggest and cleanest cord wood stove on the market, which is pretty cool.”
While Greentech plans continued expansion on U.S. soil, Holmestad said the company hopes to reach more European customers in the future, too.
“That is going to benefit us if the U.S. market does slow down, which will come, but we’ve had an increase every year for five years,” he said. “We do plan on growing our overseas market.”
Nationwide, Holmestad said the quality of Crown Royal Stoves continues to be noticed with more and more dealers contacting Greentech to carry the products. And looking out into the year ahead, Holmestad said plans of physical growth exist.
“We are running out of space in our shop,” he said. “We’re looking to possibly add on.”
The company also has plans to make annual investments in new equipment, which won’t replace employees, but make production more efficient.
“We’re proud of the money we are bringing into this community, as we sell about 90 percent of product out of state,” Holmestad said. “We want to grow and reinvest in this area. We have 40 employees now and we’re looking to add to our team. We have an awesome crew right now, it’s the best crew we’ve ever had. They’re willing to do whatever needs to be done... Our goal continues to lead the market and be one step ahead of where we need to be.”