Larry and Brandy Ehmann recently enjoyed a wonderful milestone: their family-owned local business, ABC Vacuum, celebrated 60 years in business.
ABC Vacuum provides vacuum cleaning sales, parts, supplies and repairs to the Phoenix metro area. We recently caught up with Larry Ehmann to ask about this exciting anniversary.
North 32nd News: Can you share about the history of ABC Vacuum and your family?
Larry Ehmann: ABC Vacuum was started by my dad Bernie Ehmann along with Stanley Antone in 1961. They had started working with each other selling Electrolux Vacuums door to door in 1959. Two years after Bernie and Stan opened ABC Vacuum, an electrical fire destroyed the building and inventory. They ended purchasing the building we still call home in 1963. In 1981 Stan wanted to retire and my dad bought him out. I started working with my dad in 1983. I was a freshman at North High. I loved working side by side with my dad learning the business. It is time I will cherish forever.
My dad was known for his hard work ethic, humor, and kindness. He was known by many other vacuum store owners across the United States. I, too, have met and talked to many vacuum owners across the U.S. My dad was ready to retire in 2001, and we worked out the details so I could purchase ABC Vacuum. In 2003 I became the owner of our family owned and operated business and have strived to keep the business going and growing and our customers happy. Even though my dad was retired, he was still here most every morning after he attended mass, greeting me with coffee brewing. My father passed away April 2, 2005, after a 13-year battle with lymphoma. Soon after purchasing ABC Vacuum my wife Brandy came to work with me. She has been here almost 18 years helping me. Not only do we own a small business together but we have raised six children.
North 32nd News: What makes ABC Vacuum stand out?
Larry Ehmann: We treat our customers like we would want to be treated: with kindness. I think that is one of the reasons we have been able to stay open and growing while many of our competitors closed their doors. When I started working with my dad there were 50 vacuum stores in the Valley. Now there are less 20. There have been lots of changes and struggles over the years since Amazon and other big online stores sell vacuums and supplies. What consumers need to know is that there are small business owners that are here locally that can help them. We are a specialty type store. We are here to help them find a vacuum that will work with their cleaning needs. We also do repairs, service, and sell parts and supplies to keep vacuums going strong for many years. We sell other items such as floor steamers, shampooers, dusters, and other cleaning supplies. We have many commercial customers, too. My wife and I are hoping we can keep ABC Vacuum open for many years to come.
To learn more, visit abcvacuumaz.com.