A major player in the fastening industry with roots in Monticello was recognized as a recipient of the Minnesota Family Business of the Year award.
B & F Fastener Supply, based in Ramsey, founded by Loren and Barb O’Brien from Monticello, received the prestigious award. The second generation of O’Briens to run the company, daughters Nicole Baltes and Aryn Young and son JJ O’Brien, grew up in Monticello, where Loren and Barb O’Brien still live.
In 1988, Loren O’Brien and the late Steve Johnson founded B & F Fastener Supply in a small, 70,000-square-foot store in Minneapolis as a distributor of industrial and construction supplies.
33 years later, B & F Fastener Supply has more than 200 employees in 14 locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
“We have a large presence in the market. We never thought we would be what we are today, ”said Aryn Young, O & # 39; Brien family member and Marketing Director of B & F Fastener Supply.
And while the company is now spread across the Midwest, it hasn't lost sight of its founding: B & F Fastener is not just run and run by a local family – it's a company that treats every employee and customer like family .
Today the name B & F also represents a family of three companies or departments. In addition to B & F Fastener Supply, O’Brien's family-run business interests include B & F Custom Machining, B & F Custom Packaging, and B & F Inventory Management. All companies are housed under one roof at the B&F corporate headquarters at 7100 Sunwood Drive NW in Ramsey.
B&F Fastener Supply sought the Minnesota Family Business of the Year award, presented by the Twin Cities Business Journal, because it was the right time in the midst of a challenging 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The award in 2020, with all of the challenges companies faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, had a special meaning, said Ryan Shaw, executive vice president of sales at B&F Fastener Supply.
Young added, "We had the right story to tell."
"While 2020 was a struggle, we had no layoffs," said Young.
B & F Fastener Supply has remained committed to its employees and its customers – the two groups that are important members of the B & F Fastener Supply family, said Aryn Young. During the pandemic, B&F Fastener Supply, the O'Brien family and the company's executive team continued to focus on understanding its position as a company, its history and the culture the companies grew up in, Young said.
"We were able to surround our customers with members of our team," said Young.
The members of the B & F Fastener Supply team and the company's customers were given the opportunity to get to know each other and to stay together in good and challenging times.
"We were able to use our resources to help our customers grow," said Young.
Young said she and her family are honored to be recognized as a Minnesota family leader and look forward to future business success.
What B&F Fastener Supply has done over the past 30 years has worked – and has worked successfully, she said. "We're stable and here to stay," said Young.