Canton ‘booming’ with another new business

CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER Matt Erickson is shown in his Express Pressure Washers of Canton showroom, which he recently opened.
Charlie Warner

Canton, population 350, has been witnessing quite a growth in new businesses in the past year. No less than six new businesses have opened their doors for commerce in the small Fillmore County burg that used to be referred to as “Boomer.” If this trend keeps up, folks just might have to change the name of the town to Boomer once more.

Matt Erickson purchased the Express Pressure Washers franchise from Bill Richardson, owner of Canton Plumbing and Heating, this past summer and recently moved into the former Shell Oil Station on Highway 52 on the west end of Canton. Canton resident Jim Davis bought the four-acre tract of land last year and has rehabbed the two large buildings into two attractive commercial locations that are home to four different businesses.

“I started working for Bill (Richardson) about six years ago,” Erickson recalled. “I needed a change of pace and Bill was looking for someone to manage his pressure washer business.” Richardson had gotten hooked up with Express Pressure Washers, Inc., of Blooming Prairie several years prior to hiring Erickson.

The Alkota pressure washer line is very popular with farmers and commercial users and Richardson couldn’t keep up with the demand of that sideline, while managing his growing plumbing and heating business. So he hired Erickson, whose main responsibility was the pressure washer business.

“I did some plumbing work for Bill, when needed, but my main focus was the pressure washers,” Erickson said.

That business continued to grow, so much that Richardson was running out of space in his plumbing and heating shop in downtown Canton.

“Bill and I sat down and talked about it in July. We came up with an agreement where I bought the inventory and the business,” Erickson said. But Erickson couldn’t continue operating the business in Richardson’s shop.

Enter Jim Davis.

“I knew Jim had bought the old Shell station and was looking for renters,” Erickson said. “It went really fast. The location and the space I’m renting is a great fit for me. And my buying out Bill was a win-win for both of us. Bill didn’t need to add onto his building and he is able to spend more time with his plumbing and heating business. We still have a great relationship.”

The Alkota line offers hot and cold pressure washers, powered by gas, oil diesel or electric. Erickson handles the smaller residential washers with a two-gallon per minute capacity at 1,500 psi up to the larger farm and/or commercial washers at seven-gallons per minute at 3,000 psi. The pressure washers produce a flow of heated water, up to 185 degrees. The water temperature is thermostatically controlled. Farmers, co-ops, implement dealers and residential users make up the bulk of Erickson’s clientele.

Express Pressure Washers of Canton also handles steam cleaning equipment, parts washers, Val 6 Heaters, IPC Eagle Sweepers and Scrubbers and a full line of ZEP cleaning products.

“We also offer rentals, free demonstrations and do service work on all brands of power washers,” Erickson noted. “The service work is a big part of my business. I have a lot of parts on hand and what I don’t have in stock, I can usually get in a day.”

“Many farmers say the most important piece of equipment on their farm is their pressure washer. They have a significant investment in their equipment and keeping it well maintained is important,” he said.    

Erickson’s service area in Minnesota runs west to Highway 63, north to I-90 and east to the Mississippi River. “It’s a fairly large area.” With Erickson handling all of the sales and service, his Canton-based business keeps him quite busy.

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