Bichler Gravel and Concrete Company

Bichler History

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In 1900, John Bichler bought a limestone quarry across from what would later become Escanaba Paper Company (now NewPage) and his successors are still using it today. The time-tested structure of the Bichler Concrete & Gravel Company was laid out in 1900. It has helped Escanaba and the surrounding area enjoy more than a century of growth.

Stone from Bichler's quarry was used to construct many of the foundations of the historic buildings in Escanaba that are still in use today, such as the former Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, many businesses along Ludington Street, and many residences. Construction in the early 1900's was not as easy as ordering some cement blocks and buying a few bags of mortar.  Bichler's had to attain the services of skilled craftsmen and put them to work cutting stone from the quarry to the right size…block by block! 

As the company grew older, so did John Bichler. His sons soon obtained ownership and maintained the gravel company as Bichler Brothers. The company saw some new faces before C. Gust Peterson and his son-in-law, Tom Brayak Sr., bought it in 1965. At that time, the company was divided into Bichler Gravel Company and Bichler Paving Company (doing black top paving). In 1967, they purchased a concrete business and in 1970 the paving division was shut down.

Tom has two sons, Tom Jr. and Terry, who were integrated into the family business when they were teenagers. So when their father and grandfather were about to retire, they were getting ready to head the company. The brothers have split the managerial duties according to their interests. Terry supervises the company's employees, dispatches the trucks, and oversees plant operations. Tom works more directly with clients as he places bids, handles pricing, and maintains the office.

Bichler Concrete and Gravel currently specializes in Redimix concrete; sand, gravel, and stone; and precast concrete products. The company offers its services to residential, commercial, and industrial markets. All of their services are offered year-round. They now offer snow removal and sanding in the winter months.

The company has changed ownership several times, but Bichler  Gravel & Concrete Company still offers the reliable service it was built on…only now it has more products and a century of experience.

"We produce a good product, try to give good services   to our customers, and have good employees."

Terry Brayak on the company's longevity
(The Daily Press - 3.23.2000)

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