A couple of locals have broken off from the corporate structure at John Deere and started their own equipment business in between Farley and Epworth on Highway 20. Eric “Beeps” Lahey and Brent Brunsman have come together to start CJ Beeps Equipment LLC. The two were employees at John Deere dealers for over 15 years.
“We wanted to break away from the corporate atmosphere and wanted to work more for the customer,” Brunsman said.
The business is located at the end of Lehmann Road on the north side of Highway 20. Customers are one of the main pieces of the foundation to this business. They want to make sure the customer is being listened to.
“One of our main goals is that we want the customers to be a name and not a number,” Lahey said.
Like most start up businesses, financing was the biggest issue with getting this going. Craig Breitbach, of Farley, was the key investor behind CJ Beeps Equipment.
“We went to Craig Breitbach with the idea and he liked it,” Brunsman said.
“He believed in the idea and it made sense because he owns half of the building as well,” Lahey added.
Lahey also said that the building was a no brainer for them because it is in a good location and it felt right when they were first in it.
“It was like a first kiss,” he said. “You know if they’re the one or not after it. This building had the same feeling.”
The business is still in the infancy stages, but Brunsman believes in what could come of their business.
“We have had a lot of naysayers along the way,” he said, “but we are competitively priced and have some good clientele from our previous positions.”
They know that the market is competitive, but say that they are ready for the challenge and know how the business works.
“Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered,” Lahey said. “We don’t want to be hogs.”
Brunsman and Lahey said that they are local workers who want to try their best to keep the money local and to make sure that everyone feels comfortable after a deal is done.
“A goal of ours is that customers don’t feel like they’ve been wronged,” Brunsman said. “We want everyone to be happy at the end of the day.”