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Midway Homes expands into RV sales - Grand Rapids Herald-Review: Business

Midway Homes expands into RV sales

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Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 3:25 pm

You could say Midway Homes is all in the family, and this year, they will be expanding into fresh territory.

The company, which originally focused on trailers and eventually moved into the business of modular homes, has been a fixture in Grand Rapids since the 1950s, incorporating in 1969.

This year, Midway Homes’ annual open house over the last weekend of April has a special twist—it’s also the grand opening of a new division selling RVs.

The open house will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 25, 26 and 27, where there will be sales representatives to answer questions, special promotions, and hot dogs and refreshments.

About eight years ago the manufactured and modular homes business began to decline, said Bob Troumbly, Sr., who founded the company.

Business had trickled from about 100 homes a year to about 20, Troumbly Sr. said. It was time to inject a new line of work into the company, which really wasn’t a new line of work at all—Midway Homes had sold RVs in the past, only getting out of the business when that part of the company slowed and the modular and manufactured home business boomed.

Grand Rapids is a little too far away to ride the boom in RV sales caused by the sharp increase in North Dakota pipeline jobs, according to Troumbly Sr.; however, they have already sold some trailers to locals who knew the company before the grand opening.

Midway Homes creates about 30 summer jobs in the area, said Troumbly Sr. Formerly the company also did excavating for the homes they installed, and also installed water and sewer systems, providing more jobs.

Now Troumbly Sr.’s son Bob Troumbly Jr., and daughter, Laura, both work at the company. Grandchildren got in on the act, too, during summers bookended by school.

This year’s grand opening has given everyone time to pause and reflect on the company’s history.

Midway Homes’ original location on Highway 38 is now someone’s front yard, recalled Bob Troumbly Jr., who now works in sales at the company.

Midway Homes takes its name from another early location near the intersection of Highway 169, Jessie Mine Road, and Midway Drive.

They moved to their current location on Highway 169 towards Coleraine in 1971, building their current facility in 1980.

Troumbly, Sr. didn’t get his start in mobile homes. In fact, he worked for Troumbly Bros. as well as Itasca Readymix to support the family while selling homes on the side for extra income, according to Troumbly Jr., who remembers much of the early days of the business.

For a business to remain family-owned and operated for as long as Midway Homes is a testament to the business’s ability to evolve and find new streams of income over the years. With next week’s grand opening, Midway Homes is taking the next step to remain viable for the next generation of customers.

The grand opening event will take place April 25-27 at Midway Homes just out of Grand Rapids on East Highway 169.

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