The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Business

May 26, 2014

An anchor through the seasons

Dranttel Sales & Service

Jean Gansen’s parents, John “Butch” and Carol Dranttel, started Dranttel Sales and Service on their family farm in 1966. Originally, Butch was looking for something more to do during the winter months when farming season was at a lull. At the time, Dranttel Sales and Service was more of a hobby dealership as Butch sold Scorpion snowmobiles out of a machine shed that had been converted into a shop and showroom.

Butch expanded his operation at the farm when he took on the Yamaha snowmobile line in 1973. In 1977, Butch enlarged his business to include lawn and garden. ATVs were brought into the industry and business during the early ‘80s. In 1981, Butch built their current facility on Old Minnesota Avenue in St. Peter. He expanded to motorcycles in 1982 and in 1983, they took on Alumacraft boats and Mariner outboards.

In 1985, Lee Gansen began working for Butch part time for the first couple of years. Lee went full time after graduation from high school. He would later marry Jean, Butch’s daughter. In 1991, Dranttel Sales and Service added the Yamaha line of outboards.

“By adding the outboards, we added one of the premiere motors on the market to our lineup within the store,” Lee said.

Around 1995, Dranttel’s gave up the lawn and garden part of their business, as well as the motorcycles. At that time, the company decided to focus more on motor sports, snowmobiles, ATVs, and boats. In 2007, they added Ice Castle fish houses.

In 2009, Lee and Jean purchased Dranttel Sales and Service from Jean’s parents. While Lee manages the store’s day-to-day operations, Jean assists with bookkeeping after hours and on weekends. Their focus is still on motor sports and boating. However, Lee and Jean have added Triton Trailers and the Yamaha generator line to their list of available products for customers.

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