The Kauffman Structures Family
Amish Mennonite Shed Builders
Kauffman Structures is literally located on a family farm, nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Iowa. Marvin built the first sheds in 1980 as a way to supplement his income. He was teaching school at the time and also doing some part-time work with his father in law’s farming operation. It remained a small operation throughout the 80s and into the 90s, providing some additional work for Marvin and also his 3 growing sons. By the mid-90s it had become a full-time business for the family with Marvin and 2 of his sons, Vincent and Curtis, working there full time.
The business has grown to involve other employees over the years. Involved currently are Marvin, his youngest son Curtis, and two full-time employees John and Matthew. Curtis manages many aspects of the business as it looks to transition from the first to the second generation. Curtis enjoys the continuing challenge of providing quality storage sheds and outdoor structures to our valued customers.
The Story of Kauffman Structures
From the pen of Curtis Kauffman
From Pennsylvania to Iowa, with love.
My father, Marvin, grew up near Bird-in-hand Pennsylvania, a quaint little hamlet in the heart of Lancaster County. His family was the operators of a fruit farm and country market known as Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and Market. To this day they are known for their excellent fruit and also some of the very best cider around. Marvin’s father, my grandpa, was killed in a tragic orchard accident when my father was 14, leaving my Grandma to continue raising her family of 7. In his 20s my father moved to Washington D.C. for several years to be involved in a city mission church there. It was during this time that he met and fell in love with my mother.
After my father married, he moved to Iowa to join my mother’s home community. It was no small thing in those days for a chap who’d been born and raised in the heart of Amish country in Lancaster county, to move all the way out to these rugged frontiers west of the Mississippi. There was no fruit farm for him to work on, but to this day he still has it in his blood, and he now tends his own small orchard on his property here in Southern Iowa.
Starting a New Shed Company
He began what would be over a decade long career of teaching in our small, private church school. Along with this, he worked with his father-in-law’s farming operation from time to time. Money was scarce in those days, and to supplement his income he decided to venture into building portable sheds in 1980, 3 years before I was born. Throughout the 80s and into the early 90s, building sheds remained a pretty small operation, but gave my Dad extra work and also was a way he could do something with his 3 sons as they grew up. It was about this time that he also took on responsibilities as part of the pastoral team of our local church, which he continues to this day.
My siblings and I (2 brothers and 3 sisters) had lots of fun growing up together. There was always plenty to do, whether helping out in the garden, cleaning the house, or helping dad in the barn shop. During this time we also had a small kennel, raising and selling puppies. My very first income came from selling puppies from my dog. This was a great way for us kids to learn responsibility in caring for our animals and also earn a little money as well. A yearly highlight for us was packing up in our van and traveling 1000 miles back to dad’s hometown and hanging out with our aunts, uncles, and cousins in PA.
A Terrible Storm Leads to a New Beginning
In 1992, on a stormy night in September, a vicious storm tore through our property cutting off our electricity, flooding our basement, destroying several old and stately trees and our beloved treehouse, and caving in the roof of our big red barn in which we’d spent hours of play. The next day it was a mess, but friends, family, and neighbors showed up and helped clean it up in short order. Eventually a hole was dug, and the old barn was pushed into it and burned. This very site is where we built the new shed shop in 1998 and is currently where all our sheds are built.
By the mid-90s building, sheds had become a full-time operation for Dad, my brother Vincent, and myself. The business has grown to involve other employees over the years. Involved currently are Dad, his youngest son Curtis (myself), and two full-time employees John and Matthew. I manage many aspects of the business as it looks to transition from the first to the second generation. I enjoy the continuing challenge of providing quality storage sheds, garages, livestock shelters, cabins, and outdoor playhouses to our valued customers.
Our Company’s Vision and Culture
For our company, we aim to provide an atmosphere where we can work together as a team and have a great time doing it. We believe in creating a culture that gives our employees a sense of ownership and casts a compelling vision for them to be part of our team. We are committed to cultivating and growing this culture not only for the benefit of our employees, but in the long run for the good of each of our valued customers. With this kind of vision, we believe we will be able to continue producing the attractive and quality sheds that you have come to expect from Kauffman Structures. We do care about our bottom line, or else we wouldn’t survive, but more importantly we care about the service and product that our customers receive. Everyone on the Kauffman Structures team knows this and works towards our customer’s satisfaction.
It is our goal as a company to provide long lasting storage solutions to the many different storage needs that our customers face. We are not all that interested in selling sheds just so people can collect more stuff. What we really get excited about is when our customers use the shed they’ve bought to organize, beautify, and simplify their life. We have a passion for beauty and organization (we believe every person has been created with this desire) here at Kauffman Structures and we get so excited when we see our customers carefully planning and executing their shed project so that they end up with a structure that beautifully fits their needs and their property.
Along with providing quality sheds, we believe it is equally important to provide a quality customer experience. By doing our own retail vs. selling sheds through multiple dealer lots, we believe we are positioned to make sure the customer experience is top-notch from start to finish. We want to be involved in your project and answer your questions in a way that will provide you with the perfect outdoor structure.