Former owner of Brooklyn Building Center reflects on career, welcomes new owner
Phil Kriegel, right, is shown with Rick Maas, the new owner of Brooklyn Building Center. Maas took the reins of the business on March 1. Kriegel, who will stay on until the end of the year to help with the transition, owned the business for 44 years. He started in 1977 helping his father, Lawrence, who owned the old Fullerton Lumber yard in Brooklyn.
by J.O. Parker
Phil Kriegel, the long-time former owner of the Brooklyn Building Center at 229 W. Front St., takes a few moments from helping a customer.
“One of the things my dad told me,” he said, “People can buy anywhere they want. It’s the service that makes the difference.”
It’s a motto that has helped Kriegel grow his business and serve the area from the time he joined his father, Lawrence, at the old Fullerton Lumber yard in Brooklyn in 1977.
After 44 years in the business, Kriegel has sold the Brooklyn Building Center to Rick Maas, the former vice president at Garling Construction in Belle Plaine, and his wife, Heather.
Mass took the reins of the company on March 1. Kreigel said he plans to stay on until the end of the year to help with the transition.
“I will be here now and less as we go,” he said.
Kreigel specialized in helping customers with their home remodel and new construction projects, big and small.
“I’ve drawn numerous house plans, additions, pole barns and kitchens,” said Kreigel. “And about anything else people wanted.”
Kreigel said when Maas, who has done business with him for 15 years, approached him and asked if he had a successor plan, he admitted he hadn’t given it much thought.
“I figured I’d stay on for a few more years, then think about retirement,” Kreigel said. “The more he talked about it, the more I become interested.”
When asked, Kriegel said he got the most satisfaction out of helping people get the end result they wanted.
“I’ve worked a lot of hours,” said Kreigel. “It has been an enjoyable experience. When I look back, there wouldn’t be a thing I would change.”
“Phil has had a successful business for a number of years,” added Maas. “I want to try to provide the level of customer service that Phil has provided. I want to serve the members of the community. This community has been very loyal and I want to make sure and take care of them.”
“We are always going to try and be better than the day before,” Maas said.
The business is open Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., and 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is 641-522-9251.
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