Corey Marzolf, owner of Marzolf Implement in Spring Valley, says that throughout 2019, his business is celebrating 65 years in business, and he attributes that longevity to two guiding principles. Marzolf Implement has always stressed good service after the sale, and maintaining strong relationships with their customers.
Regarding the origins of Marzolf Implement, Corey explained that, “My parents, Harold and Carllie, started it. My dad started working for Sandy Implement, who was the Allis Chalmers dealer in downtown Spring Valley. And then they had the opportunity to buy him out. So they did that in ’54. It was downtown, and then in 1966, this building came up for sale, and my father bought it at an auction.” Since then, the business has been operating at 1221 South Section Avenue, on the southern edge of Spring Valley.
For those unfamiliar with Marzolf Implement, Corey explained, “We sell lots of consumer goods, lawn mowers and lots of other outdoor power products, chainsaws, walk-behind snowblowers, lots of parts for farm equipment and tractors… and bigger equipment for farm applications.” He also said they service and repair “just about anything with wheels and an engine, other than a car,” regardless of where the machine was purchased.
Corey shared his concern that good service and local stores are becoming harder and harder to find, and he worries what that may mean for farming communities in the years to come. As fewer family farms remain in business, the industry is getting swallowed up by large corporate farming entities, and Corey says that’s sad to see, because his business has been built on strong relationships with family farmers. He added, “That’s a simple recipe for success, but it seems to work.” He commented that, “The most enjoyable part of the business, for me, is just going out and visiting farmers at their place of business.”
When asked about a favorite memory from his years running Marzolf Implement, Corey thought for a moment, then replied, “A guy came in and bought a lawn tractor from me. He doesn’t live in this community, but he works here, and he just thanked me for being here… he said, ‘You guys always treated us good, and you treated my dad good, and that’s why I came back.’”
Corey has no retirement plans at this time, and said he still enjoys the busy schedule that running his business entails. Corey employs 10 other fulltime employees, and said they often work 45 to 50 hours per week throughout the year. During spring planting and fall harvest, though, Corey said his crew becomes busier yet, and at those times they are “running about five employees short.” But he said good employees has always been a strength of Marzolf Implement, as he noted the dedication his staff shows in doing their job and meeting customer needs in a challenging field, such as going out to farms to make repairs when a farmer is dealing with equipment breakdowns. Year-round, Marzolf Implement is open 7:30 to 5 Mondays through Fridays, and 7:30 to noon on Saturdays, but hours are extended during the busy seasons.
Corey gave kudos to his parents for “taking the plunge” to start the business all those years ago, and making it succeed. He said the way it was told to him, his father was undecided about taking out the $8,500 loan to buy the business, but Corey’s mother convinced him to go for it. He said that although no formal “anniversary events” have been scheduled through this anniversary year, Corey encourages anyone to come in, look around, and talk to him or his staff. He added, “In 65 years of being here, you establish relationships with people…there’s a connection there.”