Kasten Masonry Sales, Inc.

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Kasten Masonry

Year established:1895

Product or services offered: Brick, block, stoves, fireplaces, pools, pellet grills

Number of employees: 64

Location: 713 Kasten Drive, Jackson, Mo.

Owner(s) and title(s): Corporation

Describe your business/occupation in exactly five words.: Brick, block, hearth and pool

What is your vision for your business and/or your industry in 2012?

Stan Riehn, General Manager: As a manufacturer and stocking distributor, we think we are positioned properly to fill the needs of our customers. We should have what they want, when they want it. As far as our industry goes, we are tied closely to construction. We anticipate marginal increases in starts in 2012.

Who are some of the people, either historical or living, who have influenced your business philosophy, and how have they done so?

Stan Riehn, General Manager

SR: Our stockholders and our board of directors have steered our company since our inception. It is their vision and decisions that continue to make us a leader in our industry.

Give us an example or two of an idea that came to fruition in the last couple of years, and how has that helped your consumers or clients?

SR: Dave Kasten's forethought to introduce the Tumble line of face brick and using sawdust to fire the brick kiln has been a big part of our continued success. This makes the brick process reasonably priced.

Does your business have a mission statement? What is it?

SR: No. Because every business's mission is the same: To serve the needs of their customers. To us, that is a given.

What do you think is the community's biggest asset from a business perspective?

SR: An ingrained work ethic, a willingness to work hard to get the job done.

How has technology changed your business in recent years? Was it difficult to adapt to the changing technology?

SR: There have been a lot lately. The easiest and most obvious one for us is smart phones. The amount of information that is now available to you, wherever you travel is incredible.

What are some lessons that you learned at a young age that still apply in your business philosophy today?

SR: I learned at a young age from my mother and father that hard work and integrity will serve you well in life. Also treating your employees as you would like to be treated will assure dedicated employees.

Share with us an example where you had to make a 180-degree change on some aspect of your business. What convinced you that you were headed the wrong way and what was the adjustment like?

SR: Each year we attend various trade shows dealing with our business to search for new innovative products to provide the community. Many have been very successful while other not so much, but we keep striving to find the right products to sell to make our family of employees a good living.

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