LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — BarDan Supply has been running for nearly three decades, and the companies’ owner said their strong family relationship is why.
Brad Englin was destined to somehow end up in manufacturing.
He was fascinated as a child about how things worked.
“I had a really corrupted childhood I tell people,” said Vice President of Sales Brad Englin. “I was watching product demo videos from my father at the age of five.”
He’s the third generation of Englins in the industry, and the second as part of the family business BarDan.
“For me this is home,” said Englin.
The company’s name also has a family connection.
“The name BarDan was actually coined by my late grandfather. My father’s dad. It’s just Barb and Dan,” said Englin. “BarbDan just didn’t roll off the tongue.”
Barb and Dan are Brad’s parents, and their hard work has kept the business going for 27 years.
Dan used to work for W A Whitney.
“We’re a distributor of metal fabrication tooling, machinery, and parts,” said Englin. “To break that down for people that deal anything with metal, putting a hole in it, burning it, forming it, rolling it, bending it, we carry all the tooling and equipment they need to perform those tasks.”
While they don’t make anything at BarDan, the products they sell are vital for companies that do.
“Our big thing, Eric has always been the consumables or the tooling, the day-to-day items, and then capital equipment. We kind of look at it as two tracks. Well for us, this is that consumable day-to-day needs. People need that more so than they need new equipment every day.”
The company is growing.
About three years ago it moved into the 6,000 square foot facility in Loves Park. BarDan’s old place was half the size.
“So this is basically our mobile store,” said Englin. “So we keep punches and dies, cutters here at a moment’s notice so if people need ’em we can take them right to job site or right to their shop.”
Now it’s crucial for the company to have that extra space.
BarDan just became the exclusive North American Distributor for a German company’s parts.
A few months ago, BarDan moved that whole operation up here from the Cincinnati area. That’s keeping the family very busy.
“You’re trying to get your feet underneath you, you have a good familiarity with the product, but at the same time you’re building a new connection with the main plant in Europe and making those connections,” said Englin. “We’re air freighting parts over here 3 times a week.”
BarDan’s anniversary is October 1st.
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