Weiland, Inc. Is Named the 2019 SBA Nebraska Small Business of the Year

The story of Weiland, Inc. begins in the frigid Nebraska winter of 1984, when owners Leon and Jean Weiland were desperate to support their family and the family farm during a regional agricultural crisis. The Weilands decided to supplement their income by building fiberglass doors for the meat packing industry, and their company took off from there. They expanded from the original 800 square ft building to a 20,000 sq ft building on their farm, and in 2018 they moved into a brand new 60,000 square foot facility in Norfolk, NE.

In addition to expanding their location, the Weilands also expanded their team. In 2009, Leon and Jean decided to enjoy semi-retirement and family members Carl Weiland, Jason Ash and Rob Haake stepped in and hit the ground running. Since they came into the company revenue has tripled and is on pace to quadruple this year. Weiland, Ash and Haake have placed a particular emphasis on innovation to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. They developed proprietary techniques to mold doors faster, cheaper, and environmentally safer than most of their competitors. Their stainless steel windows are now the standard in many company’s specifications when they seek replacements in their washdown facilities. With sales and product lines expanding so quickly since 2009, it soon became obvious that a larger facility was necessary.

The Weilands and family acquired a new property south of Norfolk in 2015 and started planning the new building that would house the growing company. They turned to Loren Kucera, Director of the Nebraska Business Development Center in Wayne, NE for assistance. NBDC is an official partner of the SBA and is dedicated to providing services to small business owners in Nebraska. Kucera helped them package several loans (including a $1.45 million SBA 504 loan) that allowed them to build a brand new 60,000 square foot facility that includes an office area, fiberglass section and a paint booth. They moved in during May of 2018.

A bigger facility meant more sales and more production – which in turn meant more employees. Weiland, Ash and Hake hired 14 employees in 2018, bringing their total to 35. Weiland, Inc. has even been able to expand into the international market, and currently exports products to Canada and Mexico. Weiland, Inc. is an excellent example of a successful business that was able to grow out of adversity through the dedication and hard work of an entire family. But don’t take our word for it – read all about it Leon Weiland’s book “Smell the Dirt and Other Lessons Learned from the Ground Up.” The book was published in 2015, and chronicles the experiences and life lessons learned from Weiland’s life on his Nebraska farm. One such lesson – how to use hard work and determination to turn an adverse situation into a profitable family business!