Thank you for joining us in celebrating G&G’s 50th anniversary of doing business, working primarily in the Kosciusko County area, but in surrounding communities as well. G&G has grown into a company which specializes in industrial and commercial site preparation; site utilities; GPS grading; aggregate products, including recycled concrete; and custom crushing screen of concrete, asphalt and gravel.
G&G was established in 1966 when Thomas (Tom) Groninger along with Richard Goshert teamed up as a partnership to start the business. The letters G&G were initials of Groninger and Goshert, and they still fit perfectly today with the brothers, Cary and Rich Groninger, running the organization as president and vice-president respectively.
Tom and Richard’s partnership did not last very long because the latter worked another job and with all the time constraints couldn’t invest much in the business. So he was inevitably bought out and Tom became the sole owner.
“Playing in the dirt” has been part of the Groningers for at least three generations. Tom’s dad, Cary A. Groninger, owned a landscaping business, which Tom helped with.
However, Tom’s main thing was farming and a great fascination with heavy machinery. His philosophy has always been: “if it couldn’t be done from a tractor seat, it didn’t need to be done!” Having witnessed a driveway plowed through his corn field right before harvest, because a big company was building a new facility on Old 30, and corn was trading at 80 cents a bushel, Tom quickly realized that farming did not have much of a future and the dream of starting an excavation business was conceived, which later became a reality.
Running G&G as a profitable business venture would have been a farfetched idea without the proper tracking of numbers and basic everyday administrative responsibilities. This is where Sandra Groninger, Tom’s wife, used her giftedness in bookkeeping and administration. She was the brains and the driving force behind the office operation, conducting all the day-to-day office business activities; billings for all the works; taxes; sending out Christmas cards and customer relations.
As part of her customer appreciation, Sandra would make candy and fudge, especially during the Christmas season. Requests for her famous candy and fudge became a longtime tradition as customers would call to make sure they were going to have some of the delightful treats.
Tom’s initial motivation in starting G&G was to basically run a business to provide for his family. But G&G experienced unprecedented success and in his own words: “the good Lord brought a lot of business.” The situation necessitated the engagement of more equipment and labor.
Eddie Creighton who was one of Creighton Brothers’ original owners, a company which represented one of G&G’s first and biggest customers, was so impressed with G&G’s work of constructing building pads and driveways for chicken and egg production facilities. This led him to encourage Tom to expand operations and look for other customers who could also benefit from G&G’s quality work.
To this day, Tom appreciates that piece of advice from Eddie. Cary and Rich have also taken the advice to heart and have focused establishing a diverse customer base. This has proved very instrumental in G&G’s sustained operational success.
In the early years, G&G had its first gravel pit in Atwood, IN and among the first pieces of equipment G&G owned was a Haas loader and a couple of dump trucks.
Upon acquiring the gravel pit in Warsaw, G&G invested in a crusher to make processed gravel and later recycled concrete. G&G has continued to invest in more modern and efficient excavating equipment as well as trucks.
The G&G ownership mantle was passed down to Cary and Rich, about 25 years ago, and by God’s grace they have done phenomenally well, to grow the business. Being the third generation of Groningers playing in dirt, and if the adage “an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” holds true, then Cary and Rich are no exceptions.
The two were exposed to different machinery and the “dirt” business at an early age, more so Cary being the older of the two, as Tom took him to job sites, yet just to observe what was going on. That experience following dad around, eventually working with and for him, really prepared Cary and Rich well, for future ownership responsibilities and managing the organization’s daily operations.
Tom is absolutely grateful for a bunch of loyal customers G&G has had locally. Their loyalty has greatly encouraged G&G to deliver quality all the time and to exceed expectations where possible. These vital relationships with customers are what will propel G&G to even greater heights of business success in the future. But it all starts with one satisfied customer at a time while striving to improve service delivery and products.
As G&G celebrates this great milestone of 50 years of doing business, Tom has a simple but reflective message to the employees who are the face of G&G and make things happen on a daily basis: “Love the Lord and work hard.” He also emphasizes humility and objective focus as the bedrock on which meaningful success is established. These are sentiments which Cary and Rich echo and do share as they lead this dynamic organization with all the determination to do the right thing and “to treat others as you would want to be treated.”
In conclusion, it has been a real honor for Tom, Sandra, Cary, Rich and the entire family to see what G&G has become over the last 50 years. For Tom especially, he is very happy to be here and see it happen in his lifetime. He hopes that the organization will be sustained for another 50 years and beyond.
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