When Paul Sendgraff talks about Allied Appliance, he speaks of its legacy.
The time-tested, award-winning business has been in Fremont for almost 60 years.
Sendgraff, the company president, grew up with the family business and as a boy accompanied his dad, Ray, on service calls.
“I’d help him get tools out and put them away,” Sendgraff said.
More than that, Sendgraff said he learned how to help customers and keep them happy.
“He taught me a lot,” Sendgraff said of his father. “He left a great legacy.”
Ray Sendgraff went to school for appliance repair in Omaha in 1960. He and his wife, Mary, moved to Fremont, where he worked as a serviceman for a local business.
The Sendgraffs started their own business, Allied Appliance, on April 1, 1961. They rented a building on Bell Street for three years before constructing their own building at 1234 E. 16th St., where they’ve been ever since.
Their business would evolve.
At first, they focused solely on service, but later began selling appliances. They sold Philco televisions and Frigidaire appliances.
In 1967, they started selling Maytag appliances, which are still sold in the store today.
The store has a variety of other name brand appliances, including Whirlpool, Amana, Kitchen Aid and Jennair.
Customers who come to the business just a block off Bell Street can find a variety of appliances: refrigerators, freezers, ranges, microwaves, dishwashers and washers and dryers. Allied also sells Maax spas and Treager grills.
Appliances have changed throughout the years.
History records that the Amana Corporation introduced the countertop microwave oven in 1967.
“What was then a luxury is now a necessity,” Mary Sendgraff said.
She’s seen other changes.
“In 50-plus years, we have gone from wringer washers to front-load washers, where a customer can program it from a smartphone,” she said. “Refrigerators have the ability of Wi-Fi, where you can order food right from your kitchen, leave messages and play your favorite music on it.”
For the last 20 years, Allied also has sold Shilo and Aspect cabinets and offers personal design, in-home measurements and consultation.
“It is our commitment to provide a well-built cabinet with quality wooden materials that is affordable and stylish,” Mary Sendgraff said. “We help make your dream become reality.”
Allied does price matching and offers warranties and financing. It delivers and installs appliances for customers.
Sendgraff believes Allied’s sales and service sets the business apart.
“You can buy anything you want anywhere, but the service after the sale is very important,” she said.
Allied has trained employees: servicemen Mike Hoff and Derek Ruiz and secretary Jasmine Hoffman.
“Service is why people come,” Paul Sendgraff said when the family celebrated Allied’s 50th anniversary. “They want the knowledge and the ability to be able to ask questions and actually hear an honest answer.”
The Sendgraffs have a history of trusted sales and service in the community — selling products and providing service to second and third generations of customers.
“Some of our customers are the grandchildren of people who’ve done business with us for years,” she said.
Customers are important to the Sendgraffs.
“We know you and we will take care of you,” Sendgraff said. “We don’t forget about you. We think a lot of our customers. Our customers are like family.”
Allied has received various honors.
In 2019, it was named Small Business of the Year by the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce.
It’s been voted as the Best of Fremont in appliance sales, receiving awards in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Throughout the years, the Sendgraffs have given back to the community in many ways. Mary is a member of the Fremont Rotary Club and Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce. She has served as Rotary club president and was the first chairman of the chamber of commerce board.
She and another local resident started the Meals on Wheels program in Fremont. For 30 years, she worked with that program, now operated by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging.
The Sendgraffs have been active members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, serving in a variety of capacities. Mary Sendgraff was part of the St. Pat’s Women’s group for years.
Paul’s wife, Kristi, is a cantor at the church and involved in the peer ministry at Archbishop Bergan Catholic Schools. Sendgraff children and grandchildren have or are attending Bergan and some have graduated from the school.
Besides serving her church, Kristi Sendgraff is a longtime Girl Scout leader, too.
Paul’s involvement is as a full-time business owner, husband and father to five children: Grace, a college student; Anna, Ellie and Olivia, students at Bergan High School, and Ryan, a Bergan grade school student.
Throughout the years, the entire Sendgraff family has grown. Ray and Mary’s five children are: Joan, Jim, Marla, Michael and Paul.
Dr. Joan Warner is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist in Phoenix. Jim Sendgraff lives in Maryville, Mo., and works for Sutherland Lumber Company. Marla Hunt is a retired teacher in Iowa. Michael Sendgraff works for American Airlines in Las Vegas. Paul is Allied Appliance president. The Sendgraffs have 12 grandchildren, five of whom live in Fremont. They also have five great-grandchildren, who live in Missouri.
Ray Sendgraff passed away January 2020, but the business continues through Paul.
“He was a great man,” Sendgraff said of his dad.
Having grown up in the business, Paul has a working knowledge of it and plans to carry its legacy into the future.
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