Freiburger Welding & Machine Shop Ltd is celebrating 75 years in business this year! Having started in 1946, we are excited to share our journey with you, our loyal customer.
Frank Freiburger, our Grandfather, started the business in 1946, in Walkerton Ontario. It was a gas station, and garage, as he was a mechanic by trade. With health concerns being brought about by the environment of his employment, he started to focus on welding and millwork, relocating to our present day location, just outside of Walkerton. The business was located next-door to the homestead, where our grandparents raised 6 children. While operating this business, Frank, also operated a sawmill. As with many family businesses, it is all hands on deck. Our grandmother, Bernetta, did the paperwork for the business, while the children assisted in the shop or at the sawmill. Over the years, the business expanded, with Ken, our father, taking over the business in 1978. During this time, Frank continued to be active in the business, helping his son with day to day demands, along with focusing on projects he enjoyed, such as woodworking and tinkering on his Robert Bell steam engine.
Having been actively involved in the family business, his entire life, it was a natural fit for Ken to carry on the family business. Our mother, Roberta, joined the family business in 1982, working in the office, taking over the responsibilities of our grandmother. While working full time at the shop, Ken was active in the community, as a volunteer fire fighter, where he later served as Fire Chief for the Municipality of Brockton. During this time, Ken & Roberta raised 3 children, Jason, Melissa & Krissy. We all spent a lot of time growing up at the shop, assisting anywhere we could. Jason & Melissa enjoyed spending time welding, machining and manufacturing items, while Krissy worked the counter and answered phones.
Over the years we were lucky to have had a small number of employees, who excelled in their own areas, bringing to the team a varied skill set. One of our current employees, Phil, has been with the business over 30 years, thus making them part of the family! In 2021, Stephen joined us on the front counter, and with his extensive knowledge in the automotive and service industry, he is sure to find what you need!
With Jason, Melissa & Krissy all pursuing education and careers, while each living in different provinces, Ken & Roberta, along with their team continued to run the business. In 2017 Krissy and her boyfriend Tyler moved from Edmonton, to help with the family business. Tyler joined in 2018, assisting Ken with manufacturing, welding and our custom metal work pieces, which Krissy expanded on her return home. Our two dogs, Copper & Malone, have officially become mascots of the shop, and can be seen lazing around in the sun.
We are excited to continue our family business, and look forward to the opportunity to serve our community, and those across Canada.
-The Freiburger Family