The timing may have been coincidental, but it couldn't have worked out better for Gerry Loebel. In 2005, shortly before the economic downturn, the local businessman sold his cast polymer products manufacturing company and retired. Last year, with the economy on the upswing, he reacquired the business (formerly known as Custom Marble Products) and re-entered the working world.
"After seven years, I ran out of things to do in retirement," said Loebel, owner of Pro-Cast, Inc., a full-line manufacturer of cast polymer products for home and commercial use, including kitchen countertops, shower bases and vanity tops. "I also missed this place. I like dealing with customers and presenting them with new ideas and solutions."
Competition markedly thinned during Loebel's sabbatical, providing the business with a decided competitive advantage upon his return. According to Loebel, when he retired, more than 1,200 cast polymer products manufacturers operated nationwide. The recession shaved about 800 of his peers from the marketplace, including all but one of his Milwaukee-area rivals.
"I came across cast polymer products early in my career and believe they're the best on the market," said Loebel, who originally opened his business in 1981. "Cast polymer products are more cost-effective, environmentally friendly, durable, easier to clean and repel water better than plastic laminate with a porcelain bowl. They're manmade, chemically bonded, mineral-filled, polymeric materials, which are molded and blended in a variety of surfaces and shapes that meet diverse design needs."
Pro-Cast's inventory is available with gloss or matte finishes in more than 70 colors — many of which exist in their vanity and kitchen top displays exhibited in their Brookfield showroom.
"Our vanity bowl selection alone comes in over 30 design styles — the largest collection in the industry," Loebel said. "Pro-Cast has products that aren't available in other places, such as box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. Customers also really enjoy the versatility of cast polymer products, which allows us to customize their item to their specifications."
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Pro-Cast, Inc.
ADDRESS: 3313 N. 124th St., Brookfield
PHONE: (262) 783-1200
OWNER: Gerry Loebel
TYPE OF BUSINESS: cast polymer products manufacturer
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