The story of Two Rivers Enterprises began in 1949 at the Opole Blacksmith Shop. This shop was owned and operated by three brothers: Vince, Roy and Frank Warzecha. Opole, located halfway between Holdingford and Rice, Minn., is an unincorporated community north of St. Cloud.

The brothers grew the blacksmith shop until it eventually became Polar Tank Trailer. After selling the company in 1967, Frank started Lake State Industries in Rice. At Lake State his two sons, Bob and Dan Warzecha, learned about the stainless steel industry.

Bob, currently president of Two Rivers Enterprises, with Dan as vice president, grew up in the industry and around the area they’ve based their business on.

“I took a few college courses, but dad (Frank) taught us everything we know about stainless steel,” Bob said.

The brothers received their start when they were about 13 years old, picking up scrap and cleaning up, as well as learning the basics of welding at Lake State.

“At 13 years old, we had a contract to create pallet supports for the U.S. government to be used in the Vietnam War,” Bob said. “It was my job to wash them and get them ready for painting.”

Starting Two Rivers Enterprises

After putting in many years working with their father at Lake State, the two brothers decided to strike out on their own, sold their stake in Lake State and opened Two Rivers Enterprises in Holdingford, their hometown.

“Growing up, grandma would tell us stories about going to Two River Lake south of town to catch big fish,” Bob said. “So when our attorney asked us to pick a name for the business, it stuck out. We want to catch the big fish.”

And catch big fish is what Two Rivers Enterprises does.

Growing The Business

With their experience, they chose to focus on providing stainless steel equipment for food processing, foodservice and restaurants.

“We’ve done work pretty much all over the United States – some work in Fiji, Trinidad & Tobago and other places,” Bob said. “In the States, you’ll find our clients in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York, Nashville, Memphis, D.C., etc.”

Bob noted their customers tend to stick around. He said they pretty much have the exact same customers year after year, and just keep adding new ones.

“Clients tell us we’re the best fabricator they’ve ever dealt with,” Bob added.

Training and certification are important, with the company being UL Custom-Built Food Service Equipment Certified and NSF / ANSI 2 Food Equipment Certified.

Employees also tend to stick around. By offering fair pay, 401K, 100% covered health insurance, profit sharing, employer-paid long-term disability insurance and more, they’ve cultivated a strong team and recruiting culture.

“All of our employees are partners. They’ve been a huge part of our success from the beginning,” Bob said. “We had a profit sharing distribution just the other night, and let me tell you, everyone left with a smile on their face.”

The Future

While you can see a full company timeline below, these days they’re focused on adding a second shift, and concentrating on better technology to serve the medical and pharmacy markets.

“My dad, Frank, passed away on March 17, 2015,” Bob said. “After spending some time in the hospital before he died, Dan and I realized there were some definite improvements which can be made in our field to better serve these clients.”

While the details are confidential, the Warzecha brothers and Two Rivers Enterprises are planning to provide cleaner, safer workplaces across all medical practices in the near future.

Two Rivers Enterprises Timeline

  • 2001-2010

    • Brothers Dan and Bob Warzecha sell their shares in Lake State Industries and use the profits to start Two Rivers Enterprises in 2001.
    • Began operations with two employees besides Dan and Bob.
    • Immediately started paying a fair wage, with a 401K. 100% covered health insurance, profit sharing, employer-paid long-term disability insurance and more were added as it became feasible.
    • Original facility was 1,000 square feet rented from Opatz Metals and Rolloffs in Holdingford.
    • In September, 2001, Two Rivers Enterprises moved to 490 River St. W. in Holdingford and still is to this day. The facility was originally 18,400 square feet.
    • Primarily created food processing equipment at this time. Provided equipment for the majority of food producers in the Midwest and across the country.
    • In 2005, another 9,000 square feet were added on to the facility for a total of 27,400 square feet.
    • In 2006, awarded the Outstanding Enterprise of the Year by the Initiative Foundation.
    • In 2008, with the Great Recession gripping most of the world, Two Rivers Enterprises continued to grow through great relationships with clients.
  • 2011-Present

    • In 2014, another 13,000 square feet were added onto the facility for a total of 40,400 square feet.
    • Also in 2014, Two Rivers Enterprises began to focus on medical and pharmacy processing equipment.
    • As of 2017, 42 people are employed at Two Rivers Enterprises.