Mark Thomas Company was recognized on May 22 as the 2014 Business of the Year at a luncheon sponsored by the Sleepy Eye Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Thomas Company was recognized on May 22 as the 2014 Business of the Year at a luncheon sponsored by the Sleepy Eye Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Thomas Company owners Mark Beito and Casey Coulson were presented with a framed certificate of their achievement and an ornamental glass award.

“I was recently in a meeting where Mark and Casey spoke about their company and some of things they said stood out to me,” said Chamber Director Trista Barka. “They said that they are Minnesota-made proud. That says a lot about a company who is proud of where they came from and where they are going.” 

Mark Thomas Company began in 1991 with one employee and now employees 45 people in and around Sleepy Eye, doing business all around the U.S. and into Canada. This year the company added four new jobs to the economy of Sleepy Eye.

Owner Mark Beito gave a little history on the 20 year old company. The Beito family moved here in 1979 and Mark was employed at the Herald-Dispatch until 1990. Over that time, Mark said he had the opportunity to work with wonderful people, some of whom he still works with today.

Beito credits his success and inspiration of the Mark Thomas Company to Wally Haas.

“He ran a funeral business, which he operated until his death in 1998. Upon his death we did purchase the line that he was selling and we still sell a few of those items today,” Beito said. “He was the godfather of printing in Sleepy Eye. There are hundreds of people in Sleepy Eye who have printing jobs because of Wally’s ideas.” 

Owner Casey Coulson detailed plans of the Mark Thomas Company for an upcoming expansion with the business.

“We appreciate our company and customer support,” Casey said. “It’s not just Mark and I who are owners. Our wives are owners as well and that’s a vital part of our business. We thank our families for supporting us. And our employees are the rock of our business as well. We have good quality manufacturing and good quality people.”

Coulson said in the nine years he has been a part of the company, it has changed vastly and continues to grow today.

He detailed expansion plans for the company that included the former Zinniel Boring building that was purchased by the Mark Thomas Company last fall.

The company is currently in the first stage of expansion which includes a 23x16 addition to the south side of the Zinniel building to be used for shipping and receiving. Coulson added that a large part of that building will be dedicated to several projects including cremation urns, which has become a large part of the company.

The second stage includes adding a 43x76 addition to bridge a gap between the new building and the main building. That space, according to Coulson, will be dedicated to bookkeeping and a larger break room and rest rooms for employees.

The third stage of their expansion includes renovating the main entrance of the main building.

“This is a large project for us and lots of resources have been involved in it already for the past year,” Coulson said. “When it is all done I think everyone in the community should be proud of it. I know we will be proud of it.”