Garrettsville – Bill Butto and his father-in-law, Pete VanPelt, shared a dream for 20 years. Precision surface grinders by trade, they worked together at a shop in Streetsboro. But they always talked about going into business together and being their own boss. The only thing keeping them from pursuing this dream was loyalty to their employer.
But in recent years, the faltering economy hurt business at the Streetsboro company. By September 2012, foreclosure shut its doors. Suddenly, opening their own shop was the obvious next step, especially since customers from the previous company told Butto and Van Pelt that they would follow them if they started up their own business. Even their former boss gave his blessing. VanPelt’s son, Eddie, signed on as a silent partner.
Just one month later, P& B Grinding and Machine, Inc. started operations at 10384 Industrial Drive in Garrettsville (in the former location of Dura-Joint, which moved to the former Amweld building in the same industrial park). The made-to-order job shop serves the steel industry with precision surface grinding, machine part reconditioning, shear blade sharpening, clean-ups on mold plates or bars, and machining stock conversions. P&B’s specialty is the complete manufacturing or reconditioning of air knife nozzle lips for the coating industry, along with steel mill liners and related components. They work with numerous materials, including both ferrous and non-ferrous steels, aluminum, bronze and copper, polymers and plastics.
Initially, the business partners’ goal was to “get established and bring in enough work to stay busy,” according to VanPelt. Now, just six months later, projects are coming in so fast, Butto and VanPelt are putting in 14-hour days just to keep the pace.
“We’re stacked deep and we’re excited to grow, but we want to take it slow,” says Van Pelt. His new goal is to invest in new equipment that will lighten their workload by increasing their capacity. Then they’ll think about hiring new workers.
Butto says VanPelt is considered a master at his trade with a fine reputation as the ‘go-to guy’ according to machine re-builders and people in the know. With 39 years’ experience in precision surface grinding, VanPelt is an expert in his field. Butto has 27 years in running both surface grinders and machining, as well as office management. Having been trained by VanPelt, he produces high-quality custom products made to top standards.
“Together, we are driven toward our common goal, to provide a top quality product, in a timely manner at a fair price,” Butto says. P&B Grinding and Machine Inc. is open 6 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The shop can be reached by phone at 330 527-0366, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on its website at www.pbgrinding.com.