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A&D Docks moves to permanent home after two decades

A&D Docks moves to permanent  home after two decades A&D Docks moves to permanent  home after two decades

It took 22 years of hard work and dedication, but Dustin Winrich, owner of A& D Docks and Service in Cornell, has seen huge changes to his business, just in the last few years. Dustin and his wife, Angie, began the installation/service company, as a part-time gig on the side.

Dustin already worked as a millwright for Quality Machines, doing hand machine welding. He decided to build docks again, as he had done them before with his aunt’s husband and worked for Wissota Tool.

When A& D Docks began, Dustin’s shop was a 16x16 wood frame garage, with plastic on the outside, which allowed him to do custom welding fabrication of the docks. He had Diamond Auto Center paint the custom docks when they were completed, then Dustin powder coated the marine equipment behind the highway shop in Chippewa Falls.

Dustin says Angie may have raised some eyebrows at the small shop and at the holes drilled in her house, running to the shop.

“But it worked,” said Dustin.

Eventually, they built a larger office/shop near the house on the property they owned on State Hwy. 27, in 2002. Dustin then became a dock dealer, carrying Hewitt, Pier Pleasure and Wave Armor.

As their business grew, so did A& D’s needs. Dustin utilized storage at the industrial airport, about a mile from the couple’s home. Once he ran out of space, Dustin knew the time had come and purchased property at the airport in the fall of 2015. He then constructed a large storage building the next spring.

It was always Dustin’s plan to add another phase onto that project, and that’s what he did last fall, which resulted in a huge showroom near the storage building, which he believes to be the largest showroom in the state just for docks.

The interior of the showroom was completed early this spring, and while the landscaping is still a work in progress, Dustin says the business has seen a lot of people in the new sliding doors.

“It’s been very, very busy,” said Dustin. “For the amount of time that we’ve been here, it looks like we’ve been here a long time.”

A& D Docks has 10 full-time employees, with several part-timers, helping serve their 400-450 customers each year. With the new location, Dustin says it has been really nice to have separation of home and business, as he and Angie also moved from their old house.

“Before, we were office there, shop here, product going back and forth,” said Dustin. “It was really a pain. It’s been a nice separation. Of course, we never had a showroom, so that’s been huge.”

As part of what they offer, the business does annual installation/removals of docks and lifts, snow removal and repair of all brands of lifts.

“It doesn’t matter if we sell it, we’ll fix it, as long as it’s fixable,” said Dustin.

Dustin says sales were maintaining, which prompted them to jump into the big investment with the buildings.

“It was a perfect timing when we bought the property,” said Dustin.

The showroom is complete with all the comforts, as the building has a geothermal heating and cooling system, with 36,000 feet of pipe running the system into the building. The heating/cooling system provides in-floor heat, and works on the basis of bringing cool air in and taking hot air out.

“Instead of using outside air to do it, it’s using the water…from the ground,” said Dustin.

The building also has a break room, two bathrooms, shower and utility room. The warehouse is used to rebuild lifts and there is a wash bay to pressure wash used docks. It also houses Dustin’s drag racing truck.

He’s raced for three years now, has taken second in his division, went to Nationals and was named King of the Track.

“I make time for it,” said Dustin.

As for the business, A& D Docks is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, located at 23040 State Hwy. 27. Sales associates or other employees can be reached at 715-239-3818, during regular hours.

An open house will also be held Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for the public to tour the new building and see what products/ deals are available.

Dustin says it’s been a risk to jump in with the new building, but says it has been a good decision and that he is projecting sales to be $1.5 million this year.

“That’s our goal,” said Dustin. “Never would have guessed that welding in that little wood frame, plastic covered shack, we would be as blessed as we are.”