Gustave A. Larson Co.

Gustave A. Larson Co.
W233 N2869 Roundy Circle West, Pewaukee
www.galarson.com
Industry: Wholesale distribution
Employees: 381

Gustave A. Larson Co. is a third generation, family-owned and operated business based in Pewaukee.

Scott Larson, president and chief operating officer, and his brother Andrew Larson, chief executive officer, have managed the business together for the past 15 years. Their grandfather, Gus Larson, started the company in 1936.

“A key part of our growth has always been sticking with the basic concepts,” Scott Larson said. “Hire the best people in the industry and represent the best products on the market. The customers will respond to that.”

Gustave A. Larson has grown from a small regional HVAC and refrigeration wholesaler to a large, national, retailer with 48 locations in 15 states.

“The company was recently ranked 11th largest overall in the country by an industry magazine,” Larson said. “We’re also ranked as the fourth largest for refrigeration specifically.”

The company didn’t wait for the economy to recover after the Great Recession before making changes in the business. That quick, innovative thinking helped the company thrive.

“It really goes back to our core strategies,” Larson said. “When we started managing the business we did so with the same philosophy as our grandfather. He always said, ‘If you’re not a growing business, you’re a dying business,’ and we’ve really adhered to that.”

Gustave A. Larson has expanded the product offerings in its mountain region and also opened a planning and spec business in its Utah facility.

“That business has been tremendous since we started it a few years ago,” Larson said.

The company plans to continue to expand that business line into other markets.

“My mother and father ran the business before us,” Larson said. “They really helped create that family environment that continues to thrive today. Our goal is to not just continue the legacy of our father (and mother), but also continue to create that legacy for the next generation.”

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