SBA Names Minnesota Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business Winner

Release Date: 
Monday, March 31, 2014
Release Number: 
Advisory Number: 
Sherree Stratton (612) 370-2325

SAINT PAUL – Metzger Building Materials, based in Saint Paul, has been named the Minnesota Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year is selected to honor a family-owned and operated business which has been passed on from one generation to another.  Nominees must also serve as a majority owner and operator or bear principal responsibility for operating the small business with at least a fifteen-year track record.  Mike Ryan, Director of the Twin Cities Small Business Development Center at the University of St. Thomas, nominated Metzger Building Materials for this award.

For three generations, Metzger Building Materials has been selling products to local builders.  Focusing on quality products and strong relationships, Metzger’s supports commercial and residential contractors with top quality drywall and a full line of building materials.  No order is too large or too small and recent high profile projects include Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, the Nano Physics building at the University of Minnesota, and they just started delivering materials to be used for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. 

Robert Metzger founded Metzger Building Materials in 1939.  Robert came to the United States from Germany in the early 1900’s.  He settled in Minnesota and like many immigrants of the time, did whatever he could to support his family.  Robert was an entrepreneur at heart and started several businesses.  One of these businesses was Metzger Building Materials, which still operates from warehouses less than a mile from the original location.  (The original building was “in the way” of highway 94 and had to be moved during construction of the freeway.)

Three of Robert’s four children helped run the family business.  His oldest daughter Roberta worked in the office for several years before she married.  His oldest son Henry worked alongside his father for several years but sadly was struck with a fatal disease and died a young man.  Youngest son Gus (Stephen) worked with his Dad and brother and eventually took over the business when Robert died.

Letterhead from these early years advertised:  Cement-Lime-Plaster-Tile-Flue Lining-Insulation-Roofing & Other Building Material.

In the 1960’s, Gus Metzger took a chance and started selling dry wall and dry wall related products despite the fact that his customers were still building with lath and plaster.  As it turns out – this was a visionary move – as the industry shifted to this “new” method of construction.  Now, 50 years later, dry wall remains the primary offering of Metzger Building Materials.

Gus’ wife Darlene became instrumental in running Metzger’s with her husband, and three of his five children joined the family business, too.

Today, Jane Metzger von Haden, President, runs the company and continues to provide building materials to local commercial and residential builders. 

Metzger’s has been a family business from the start.  Hard work and solid relationships have sustained the company through boom and bust years.  Three generations have been committed to the business, the trade and their customers.  There is a fourth generation – and a few of them have already logged some hours “down at Metzger’s” helping to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Metzger Building Materials Co. will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 6, 2014, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

For more information:

Jane Metzger Von Haden
Metzger Building Materials
768 Bradley Street
St. Paul, MN  55130