Most great businesses start in a garage—and in our case, that’s only fitting. The garage in question belonged to the Waldoch Family of Forest Lake, Minnesota. And on a typical afternoon in 1970s, you might find their son Donald inside testing his woodworking skills. One day in 1974, a friend brought him an especially interesting request: Could he custom-build some cabinets for the inside of their van? Don took on the challenge, and when he opened his parents’ garage door weeks later, the modern-day conversion van was born.
So was an innovative new business. And as demand shot through the roof for similar projects, Don and one employee took on nearly every task—including the conversion work itself. But Don had bigger designs in mind: In an era of love nests and ceiling mirrors, he wanted to build a company that specialized in more family-oriented van designs. He immediately forged a strategic relationship with the Ford Motor Company, and with Waldoch vans flying off the lots at Ford “Drive-Away Celebrations,” it wasn’t long before Don’s business moved out of the garage and into a huge production facility, thus creating hundreds of high-quality jobs.
Needless to say, Don’s idea caught on—and by the mid-90s, Waldoch competed with over 150 van conversion companies. Throughout the “boom,” Waldoch maintained a top 10 “best sales and quality” position for Ford and GM. This focus on quality paid off when the boom ended in the early 2000s. As most van conversion companies faced bankruptcy, Waldoch found itself in a position to assist dealerships with warranty concerns and provide parts for other vans. When the economic dust settled, Waldoch was one of only 10 conversion companies left in the marketplace.
Today, the tradition lives on. All six of Don’s children have worked at Waldoch, and his two sons continue providing a valuable service to the traveling public. As both a family and a business, we take pride in our history, our team of talented professionals, our numerous quality and customer service awards, and the thousands of beautiful custom Waldoch luxury vans and trucks that grace on our national highways.
But our most valuable resource will always be our customers. From our garage to yours, our mission will always be to help you travel at the highest levels of comfort, convenience, safety and style. Don wouldn’t have it any other way.