Case Studies

Heartland Pella: Providing Durable and Stylish Windows, Doors and Skylights

  • Written by: Heartland Pella: Providing Durable and Stylish Windows, Doors and Skylights
  • Produced by: Heartland Pella: Providing Durable and Stylish Windows, Doors and Skylights
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Harold (Huey) Long founded Heartland Pella (Heartland) in 1962 under the corporation name Huey Long Company Inc. Heartland, which remains under family ownership and management, is a Pella Windows and Doors (Pella) franchise, boasting three locations operating under the same umbrella business. Today, Larry Long, Huey’s son and president of Heartland, proudly runs the company.

“I started in 1970 working with my dad,” says Larry. “In ’62 we started doing most of our share of business in Nebraska. We moved into South Dakota in 1997 and took some territory in North Dakota in 2002.”

Through steady, well-managed growth, Heartland now employs 79 professionals at three locations. Heartland’s current home office is in Rapid City, S.D., while the company has two branches set up in Grand Island, Neb., and Bismarck, N.D. Each location offers a showroom with sales, service and installation services for a range of commercial and residential customers. This team of professionals sells and installs windows and doors in all three states, giving Heartland the second largest geographic reach of any Pella franchise in the U.S.

Reliable, Innovative Products

Pella has been offering consistently durable and useful products since 1925. In varying materials and functionality, the corporation constantly introduces something new in windows and doors. Pella introduced double-pane windows with blinds in between two layers of glass years ago, and continues to think up products that better serve customers.

“Pella is a niche in its own,” explains Larry. “We offer prefinished windows, which is something few of our local competitors have. We’re a turnkey window replacement solution. We give you the products, installation and finishing all under the same roof.”

A recent addition to the Pella product line has been growing in popularity. “We have a fiberglass product line called Impervia,” Larry reports. “We’ve seen significant growth with this line, especially in North Dakota where we’ve been doing quite a bit of commercial business. Impervia tends to lend itself to that.”

The all-fiberglass line is produced through a unique process. Unlike many manufacturers, Pella receives its fiberglass in woven mesh form, eliminating thick and thin spots, which adds strength to performance. With a baked-on coating, the final product is attractively finished and extremely resistant to damage.

The Impervia line started out as a residential product, but Larry says his team has repositioned to respond to overwhelming demand from the commercial sector. “There are some very good possibilities with this product,” he explains. “We’re looking at replacing those aluminum storefronts with the more energy-efficient Impervia product.” Tested in Pella’s development process, Impervia has shown to hold up well to force, and could be a great alternative to protecting businesses during and after hours without any added layers of protection.

Long-term Business

With Pella behind the company, Heartland is sure to succeed. Heartland has been in business for over 50 years, and continues to grow steadily while maintaining customer and partner relationships. The recent recession has not been easy on suppliers for the construction industry, but unexpected areas of growth have given the company the extra boost to stay ahead of the game.

“We did suffer a slowdown in 2008 to 2009,” says Larry. “But we’ve seen a slow-growth comeback since 2010, when the oil boom took off in western North Dakota. There are a lot of people moving into the area and contractors setting up shop from other places like Chicago, Minneapolis and even Seattle. Right now we’re working on a big commercial project in Bismarck: Broadway Centre.” The team is installing windows in the downtown multipurpose building. When completed, Broadway Centre will offer condominiums, offices and retail space.

While the market in North Dakota continues to thrive, Larry says he has no big plans for expansion … yet. “We don’t have anything on the near horizon as far as expansion goes,” he says. “We’ll see when the housing market starts to chug along again. Until then, we’ll tread water. The agricultural industry is sustaining the markets around here for now and it’s pretty even-keeled. It really depends on what happens with the drought. Commodities prices are historically high, and a significant amount of the nation’s irrigated corn comes from Nebraska. Those farmers are smiling and building new houses. The drylands are hurting, and that offsets it a bit.”

Fortunately, the well-managed business is stable enough to hold out throughout the recovery. Larry and his team are looking to continue providing leading windows and doors to customers for years to come. As far as the family goes, Larry’s stepsons, Jared and Shane Regelin, are already involved in the business’ day-to-day operations.

“I think they’ll probably be taking over someday,” says Larry. When the time comes, Jared and Shane will have the experience and familiarity to continue the Heartland Pella tradition of offering skilled, helpful service and quality, innovative products to eager customers in the Dakotas and Nebraska.

Published on: April 1, 2013

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