Molin Concrete Products Company
- Written by: Molin Concrete Products Company
- Produced by: Molin Concrete Products Company
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Molin Concrete Products Company (Molin Concrete) has been serving the Midwest for more than 116 years. What began as a limestone quarry along the banks of the Mississippi River is now a full-fledged designer, manufacturer and installer of precast concrete boasting a state-of-the-art, PCI-certified production facility in Lino Lakes, Minn.
John G. Molin, founder of the self-titled company, was born and raised in Madesjo, Sweden, as the son of Swedish farmers. At the age of 21, John came to the U.S., settling in St. Paul, Minn., where he met his wife Ingrid Strom. Together, the couple raised nine children and built a home on 10 acres of land. As a builder by trade, John worked for several years in partnership with local general contractors before starting Molin Concrete in 1897.
A True American Success Story
John originally designated the business as John G. Molin Construction Services Company, specializing in masonry. However, John purchased the rights to a limestone quarry shortly after the turn of the century. Soon thereafter, Molin Concrete originated by delivering limestone – hauled by horse and wagon – to building sites where crews would form stone foundations.
Later in 1905 John purchased additional property in St. Paul, setting up operations to mine sand and gravel and eventually transitioning the company to provide concrete mixing. John’s shift was time perfectly, as Molin Concrete began manufacturing some of the first precast concrete products such as sidewalk tiles and blocks.
While getting Molin Concrete up and running, John and Ingrid were also busy raising nine children. Between 1915 and 1920, the Molin’s five sons entered the family business. When John passed away in 1940, his sons continued to carry on the family tradition, reorganizing the company under its current designation.
“This company has been past down the family line for generations,” explains Mark Groff, CFO of Molin Concrete. “John’s great grandson, Tom Molin, is our current president.”
As many family companies do, Molin Concrete has an interesting story, passed down through the generations just as the business was. “In the 1970s the third generation of family ownership decided to develop an employee stock ownership plan [ESOP],” shares Mark. “Our company was one of the first ESOPs formed in the U.S. By 2002, we were 100 percent employee-owned.” Mark is quick to note that hands-on family and employee ownership has helped Molin Concrete expand over the years while remaining true to John’s founding values.
“The fact that our company is owned by the ESOP truly sets us apart,” explains Mark. “Our employees have the ability to make decisions regarding markets and strategies without having to clear it with people who are not in tune with what’s going on in our marketplace.”
Investing in Growth
While family roots are imperative to the company’s success, the team treats all employees as such, according to Mark, who joined the Molin Concrete family in 1996. “When I started the operation of the company was pretty conservative,” Mark recalls. “After a short time, decisions were made to expand our capacity and grow the business. These investments started paying back immediately, allowing us to grow locally and regionally, but what has stayed the same is the focus on quality products and services.”
Today Molin Concrete services clients throughout the Midwest, shipping precast concrete products to customers in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. “Minnesota and North Dakota have been our busiest markets lately,” reveals Mark.
In 2009 Molin Concrete opened a new engineering and design 7,442-square-foot office building to showcase precast concrete’s aesthetics and sustainability. The facility includes insulated precast concrete wall panels, precast columns, pre-stressed beams and roof planks that demonstrate the products high performance, energy and resource efficiency. Molin Concrete incorporated tubular skylights to maximize natural light and high precast ceilings and wall panels to allow for large exterior window openings, as well.
Meanwhile, the company’s 125,000-square-foot production plant in Lino Lakes produces wet-cast hollow core, dry-cask extruded hollow core planks, precast and pre-stressed beams, columns, wall panels and stadia; most of which are presented in full view at Molin Concretes state-of-the-art office. “The extruded hollow core facility has gained national attention as the first fully automated hollow core facility in the U.S.,” details Mark.
Molin Concrete manufactures its signature Molin Hollow Core products utilized with precast columns and pre-stressed beams for multiple applications, including multifamily housing, dormitories, hotels, schools, hospitals, public facilities and industrial applications.
“We believe there are opportunities to expand the use of precast concrete in construction,” shares Mark. “Precast manufacturing uses a controlled environment, increasing the speed of projects, which is always an important factor.”
Despite the increasing size and footprint of Molin Concrete, Mark details that the company remains grounded on people; both employees and customers. “The focus in the new few years will be on customer service,” Mark admits. “Our company has always strived to be full service, including the sales, design and engineering of quality products from a PCI-certified plant. As volume picks up with the economy improving, we need to make sure we can follow through on our promises.”
From horse and wagon foundation installation to national precast fabricator, Molin Concrete has led the industry for generations. Molin Concrete Products Company will continue to remain true to the Molin family’s founding principles based on service and good people for generations to come.
For more information on Molin Concrete Products Company, please visit: www.molin.com.
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