The cornerstone of western economy hinges on the family business. Family run businesses built the west, our town squares and our understanding of a hard days work. The generational love and service provided James and Linda Stippich at Stippich Inc., keeps people coming year in and year out — their family run business going strong for 76 years.
A ready mix concrete supplier based in Hettinger, N.D., Stippich has been in business since James' father, LaVerne Stippich returned from World War II. The greatest generation are often remembered for their services in defense of our nation, but men and women like James Stippich did more than that — they built the backbone of rural economies.
“My whole life-long ambition was just being in the same business as dad was; to carry on,” James Stippich said. “I just enjoyed the type of work. You are outside most of the time, I grew up in it and I never had a desire to do anything else really.”
This December, James and Linda Stippich will celebrate their 60 year marriage anniversary. Linda Stippich got married into the business, but never imagined doing this type of work.
“It keeps us going, even though we are old. We still have to keep going,” Linda Stippich said. “I’m a farm girl. I was raised on a farm, so I was not used to the bookwork part. My father-in-law was very patient with me."
Linda still manages the books and does it all longhand — no high speed computer program needed, just a calculator, pencil and paper. Today more and more businesses that work with the Stippichs are demanding digital receipts, records and more, such as the North Dakota's Sales Tax office.
“I have been getting it done, but when they first came out with these online reports, I wrote a nice letter to the State of North Dakota sales tax department and they have since been sending me the report and I fill it out and send it right back, no problem,” Linda Stippich said. “But there are a lot of (entities) that won't. You can write all the letters you want.”
Progress, the section this article is featured in, can be difficult for many — but, the one thing that hasn't changed is the family's love for seeing a happy customers smile.
Working through the week can leave James and Linda Stippich tired, but for James the best part of the week is Monday because he gets to do it all over again.
The family business will soon pass on to the third and fourth generation in their son and grandson.
“If there is something that has to get done, you mention it to Joseph and it gets done. I don't have to worry about it,” James Stippich said of his son. "Now I have a son that is working into the business and I have a grandson that just went back to working with us, so hopefully it will continue for many generations.”
The Stippich family loves to serve the area and enjoy being out and working with all the people that they have built a working relationship over the years.