AJ Burton, president of Equipment Garage, said the
new name better
reflects the services offered by the company.
Photo by Mark
Tucked away in an unassuming light industrial area along
Pioneer Road, Birchwood Snow and Landscape Equipment
could possibly be one of Cedarburg’s best-kept secrets.
growing company has more than doubled its employee
roster in the past two years and is expanding its
operations. A new online division has given the company
an opportunity to interact with people across the globe.
Birchwood’s managers are now hoping to take some of the
positive buzz within the company’s 221,000-square-foot
building and transfer it out into the community. The
first step: A name change. Birchwood is in the process
of undergoing a metamorphosis to Equipment Garage.
“Birchwood was a confusing name for everyone,” said AJ
Burton, president of Equipment Garage. “We’re in the
process of rebranding, and we’re open to making this a
national brand. We want to take this to the next level.”
A certified small engine mechanic works on a
Photo by Mark
Burton said the Birchwood name was somewhat of a
hindrance because it oftentimes is associated with the
landscaping end of the business. He said customers were
not always aware of the company’s other services,
including snow removal, equipment sales and repairs, and
its storage facilities.
Birchwood-Equipment Garage name switch will be completed
by mid-October — just in time for a grand opening
celebration planned for Friday, Oct. 17 and Saturday,
While most of Birchwood’s clientele has historically
been wholesale, Burton said the company’s arrival in
Cedarburg two years ago broadened its base to
residential customers as well. Eagle-eyed locals
inquired about the company’s offerings.
“We’re definitely looking to offer more in the
residential category, which is different for the type of
mom-and-pop store that we are,” Burton said.
part of the upcoming name change, Birchwood’s retail
landscaping store is being separated from the rest of
the business. Burton said it will be phased out, over
time, as Birchwood’s owners “bow out respectfully” in
About 75 percent of the company's orders are online
and come from around the nation.
Photo by Mark
is new to Ozaukee County, but the company has roots
going back four decades. Initially, the operation
focused on snow removal. As that end of the business
grew, Birchwood’s services eventually were offered to
commercial property owners in cities frequently hammered
by winter conditions.
company has long had a presence on Milwaukee’s northwest
side, operating stores at 11911 W. Silver Spring Road
and 5115 W. Good Hope Road.
Birchwood’s entry into the e-commerce arena began more
than a year ago and has skyrocketed. By Burton’s
estimation, about 75 percent of the company’s sales are
through online orders. It has resulted in a 400- to
500-percent increase in business.
call center team fields requests from across the globe,
including all 50 states. Burton said equipment owners –
many living in rural areas – have called Birchwood and
placed orders for parts that cannot be readily acquired
within their own locales.
“It’s really been fascinating watching how that end of
the business is growing,” Burton said. “We’ve discovered
that there has been a need for the kinds of services
online component of the company’s operations plan is
perhaps best represented in the new logo. Alongside the
words “Equipment Garage” is the phrase “.com.”
the e-commerce end of the company becoming a well-oiled
machine, Burton said a renewed focus is being placed on
residential customers. He said this will be demonstrated
during the upcoming grand opening celebration at the
Envisioned as a meet-and-greet with the community,
Burton said the company’s relaunch will include such
festivities as a bistro offering an assortment of
refreshments. A number of raffle prizes also will be
awarded to visitors.
“We’re trying to get closer to the community,” Burton
said. “One way of doing this is by educating people
about things such as lawnmower care. There a lot of ways
we can educate people. We’re going to be putting blogs
and videos on our new website.”
Regardless of the clientele, Burton said the new
Equipment Garage will hold steadfast to a principle he
attributes to the company’s growth the past 40 years:
personalized, customized service. He said it is one way
it sets the company apart from the traditional big box,
“We pride ourselves on knowing our regular customers by
name,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons I believe the
company keeps growing. You’ll get our time and attention
when you’re with us.”
Additionally, Burton said Birchwood sets itself apart by
ordering more niche products — a likely reason for the
rise in Internet sales — and giving customers and
contractors the opportunity to purchase items in large
he looks to the future, Burton said he is excited about
the growth possibilities that lie ahead.
“We’re definitely not looking to cut employees,” he
said. “We’re looking to add them.”
and Landscape Equipment
N143-W6049 Pioneer Road, Cedarburg
(transitioning to Equipment Garage)