The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors recognized Croy Machine & Fabrication as the September Member of the Month. Croy Machine & Fabrication is located at 2744 SE Mulberry St. in Vera Cruz. Owners Randy Gentis and Ted Harter have owned the business since 1994.
Croy Machine & Fabrication has had longevity in the area dating back to the 1940’s. Gentis’ grandfather, Clarence Croy, started the business in 1945 helping farmers repair farm equipment. Croy’s business grew after receiving a government war contract during World War II.
“During that time Clarence repaired and fabricated approximately 75% of farming jobs and 25% for industry,” explains Randy Gentis. “Today, it is just the opposite for us where we serve 75% for industry with the majority of farming work being auger replacements; we have a small retail store for parts and belts.”
Gentis started working in the business in 1972, upon high school graduation. Ted Harter started as a Bluffton High School ICE student and stayed after graduation in 1978. “This is the only job I have ever had,” said Harter.
Gentis and Harter bought the business together in 1994. They both explain that the business is so unique because they typically don’t make two items the same and it is very specialized. “We machine parts or replace parts by fabricating, which means to make something and put it together by welding metal,” said Gentis. “We will make what a business can’t buy; they call us to build it. We can make almost anything out of steel.”
Unique items Croy Machine & Fabrication have fabricated are the arches over the Angel of Hope park, the bicycle racks at Bluffton Middle School, rolling computer carts for the schools, a giant grill top for the Blacksnakes Air Guard event, a spiral staircase, and a Darth Vador grill top. “We have had some unusual requests over the years,” stated Gentis.
Croy Machine & Fabrication is housed in an old church building built in the 1880’s after the Civil War ended. They currently have a warehouse next door, which was also an old church built around the same time frame.
Gentis and Harter have been grateful for the office and business management from Cindy Davis for the past 19 years. They have currently welcomed Logan Eisaman a Norwell High School ICE student this school year to help with the business and learn welding and fabrication.
“We do a lot of things for our local community to help people out and fix things,” said Gentis. “We know we can’t do it all and we have plenty of work to keep us very busy and it is difficult to get caught up a lot of times. This recognition is exciting because a lot of people in the community are not aware of what we do and it’s very difficult to market something that is so specialized.”
Pictured in photo left to right:
Kevin Pritchard, RUOFF Home Mortgage, Chamber Ambassador
Kevin Sills, Ossian State Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Randy Gentis, Croy Machine & Fabrication
Jen Kinyo, River Terrace Retirement Community, Chamber Ambassador
Ted Harter, Croy Machine & Fabrication
Nick Huffman, FC Tucker, Malcolm & Schlueter, Chamber Ambassador
Cindy Davis, Croy Machine & Fabrication
Heather Morgan, National Oil, Chamber Ambassador
Erin Prible, Executive Director, Wells County Chamber of Commerce
Doug Brown, News-Banner, Chamber Ambassador