After 75 years and three generations of Madsen family ownership, Madsen’s Shop & Supply in Centralia has passed from one family to another.
Longtime Madsen’s employee Darren Tereski and his brother-in-law, Chris Coker, officially took ownership of the store on May 1.
But returning customers need not worry about any changes from the quality customer service and product variety that have made Madsen’s the “pro’s choice” for loggers, timber fallers and anyone else in need of outdoor workwear and power tools.
“People ask me, ‘oh are you going to change things?’ And I go, ‘why would I change something that’s been successful for 75 years?’” Tereski said.
“We may add some different things, but for the most part, we’re going to keep doing what Madsen’s has done for so long and been successful.”
For former owner Sam Madsen, who recently turned 64, Tereski and Coker were the right choice to continue the store’s legacy.
“It’s just the right fit,” Madsen said. “We have great products and wonderful employees, and … this (sale) is more about succession than it is about really changing much.”
Madsen’s began as a small shop on North Pearl Street in 1946 where Magnus Madsen would “fix anything with an engine,” according to Sam Madsen.
Madsen’s is now best known for selling and repairing chainsaws. They weren’t a popular tool in the late 1940s and Magnus Madsen didn’t start selling them until after a customer brought one into his shop.
“He was intrigued by that and he thought that would be kind of a neat thing to sell,” Sam Madsen said.
Madsen’s became a certified dealer for a now-discontinued chainsaw company, IEL, in 1952, and became a certified STIHL dealer in 1970. The store is now an authorized dealer of STIHL, Husqvarna and Honda power equipment.
Ralph Madsen owned and operated the business for 44 years. He died earlier this year. According to his obituary, he retired in 1990 and his son and daughter took over the operation.
While Madsen’s proudly identifies as a local business, the store has become a destination site for professional chainsaw users, and it’s not unusual to meet a customer who drove in from Oregon, Idaho, California or Montana on a weekend to buy from Madsen’s or have tools repaired.
“There are no stores like this, where you have the big box store feel but have that small community feel,” Tereski said.
Madsen’s frequently sells “the same things to the same people pretty much over and over,” Tereski said, because professional chainsaw users who run their saws every day will typically wear the tool out within a year or so. The shop also specializes in chainsaw repairs, and even has customers across the nation who send in broken chainsaws for repair in Madsen’s in-house shop.
“Our shop has a great reputation of doing a really good job,” Tereski said. “They’re guys that have been around here a long time and they’re educated and knowledgeable about what they’re doing, and they’ve gained trust in the pro guy out there who does it for a living.”
Before he came to work at Madsen’s roughly eight years ago, Tereski worked at Fuller’s Market, where he learned the value of great customer service.
“They (Madsen’s) are basically founded on great customer service and taking care of the customer,” Tereski said. “We always leaned on being the ‘pro’s choice,’ taking care of the pro chainsaw guys out in the field today.”
Ultimately, it’s Madsen’s employees and their commitment to customer service that separates Madsen’s from its competitors.
“It’s the people that make the difference. It’s the workers, I mean it really is, and I just want to carry on that tradition,” Tereski said.
Even though he’s no longer the owner, Madsen said he will stay on to help at Madsen’s as much as he can.
“It’s really fun. We deal with really a nice bunch of people,” he said. “Our customers are good as gold and we have good products to sell. It really is a treat to do.”
About Madsen’s Shop & Supply Inc.
Address: 1408 S. Gold St #2, Centralia