Should you’ve pushed down Ninth Avenue south of First Avenue, you realize Munro Firms — Munro Pump and Munro Provide — at 820 S. Ninth St.
Lining that road hall are white buildings. On the west facet is one with a “Munro Provide” signal, whereas the east facet buildings have nondescript, weathered indicators like “Restore Companies” and “Important Workplace.”
They’re unassuming buildings that appear like simply one other a part of Grand Junction’s industrial district. However the Munro household predates lots of the neighboring companies and lineages on the Western Slope. Munro Firms is older than 5 U.S. states.
“We and this city have gone by way of plenty of cycles. Issues will likely be nice, after which they’ll bust, after which we bounce again,” mentioned Allen Munro. “As a household, we’ve been within the merchandising enterprise for a protracted, very long time.”
In 1900, Fred Munro opened the Munro Mercantile Co. in Rifle. Then, Fred and his son JR expanded the corporate to 4 new places over the following 35 years, weathering the beginning of the Nice Despair.
In 1936, JR and his son Jack partnered with an affiliate to open S&M Provide, a mining gear enterprise.
“Then World Struggle II got here alongside and all the foremost producers, all people began constructing weapons and tanks and no matter,” Allen mentioned. “However you must have primary steel for that stuff. So my father’s firm sat on an enormous cache of used mining gear that catapulted them into being one of many main mining provide homes within the western United States.”
Allen and his father, Jack, based the fashionable Munro Firms in 1965. Right now, Munro manufactures industrial items like pumps, hydraulic hoses and pump stations, and provides different producers with industrial components.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Should you instructed Katie Munro Powell that she could be in Grand Junction because the president of the household enterprise, she in all probability would have known as you loopy.
Sitting subsequent to her father in a convention room in the principle workplace at Munro Firms, the 2 reminisced about how she received her begin within the household enterprise.
“I began working right here after I was 14 years outdated,” Powell mentioned, turning to her father. “He had a message to us earlier than we began, what was it?”
Munro leaned again in his chair and put his palms behind his head.
“You’re going to return in sooner than everybody else, work later and be paid much less,” Munro mentioned with a smile.
Powell couldn’t assist however snort.
In fact, no 14-year- outdated desires to place collectively sensible bins — a Munro specialty that may regulate temperature, have a time delay change and is an efficient device for pumps — however that paid off for Powell and her sisters down the street. The sensible bins are an intricate contraption with a mish-mash of wires and electronics that she and her sisters would put collectively. In these days, you can in all probability get two made in an hour.
“We have been all introduced up with a really sturdy work ethic, and this helped train me that nice feeling you get while you work exhausting and do a job properly,” Powell mentioned. “You get that from rising up in a enterprise atmosphere, watching your dad and mom work exhausting and dealing exhausting your self.”
Powell left Grand Junction after highschool to attend faculty at Colorado State College after which labored out east.
She ultimately returned, lacking house and wanting a chance within the household enterprise.
Powell covers the day-to-day operations and operating Munro Firms, whereas Munro flexes his savvy engineering muscle groups.
Their merchandise are extremely wanted nationally and internationally, establishing Munro as a industrial drive like their dad and mom, grandparents and great-grandparents earlier than them.
“I wouldn’t say we’re persevering with a legacy. We have now plenty of ardour and take care of this a part of the nation. Western Colorado is a particular place,” Powell mentioned. “And being a business-owning household for over 100 years, it does say one thing about our household. We have now had the grit to stay with being employers and job suppliers for years, all of this time contributing to western Colorado.”
THE ROAD AHEAD
Surviving troublesome occasions is embedded in Munro’s DNA. Their companies have weathered the Nice Despair, the oil shale bust, the Nice Recession and now COVID-19.
As a result of they’re an industrial provider, Munro was deemed a necessary enterprise firstly of the pandemic. Staying open was essential, and so they have been in a position to stand up to impacts of the pandemic.
However provide chains have been disrupted for supplies.
“It’s much more troublesome to get merchandise and supplies proper now, and so they price a lot extra,” Powell mentioned.
However she and Munro are assured that they’ll survive.
“I bear in mind within the ’90s, as we have been recovering from the oil bust, a brand new pump firm got here to city and The Day by day Sentinel ran one thing that mentioned one thing alongside the strains of, ‘Lastly we’ve an organization like this,’ and I used to be like, ‘What? Actually?’ ” Munro mentioned. “Effectively, what, 20-something years later and so they’re all however gone and right here we’re.”