Since he was a kid, Joshua Lorenz, present owner and CEO of Mikkelsen Aggregates, LLC, always knew he wanted to buy his Uncle Monte’s business. Growing up, Josh, his father Steven, his uncle Ron, and two cousins Justin and Anthony all worked for Monte and his wife Darla at Mikkelsen Construction, LLP and Botno Ready Mix, LLP. He and his family have been heavily involved with the business since they moved to Bottineau, ND at the start of the business in 1989. When Monte decided to retire and sell the business in 2014, Steven, his brother Ronald, Josh, Anthony, and Justin jumped at the opportunity to buy and continue to operate the company.
In order to purchase the business, real estate, and equipment from both Mikkelsen Construction and Botno Ready Mix, Steven, Josh, Anthony, Justin, and Ronald created a newly formed entity known today as Mikklesen Aggregates, LLC. Their only setback was finances. “Because of the size of the company,” explained Josh, “we needed to have multiple loans for different things.” It was through working with the State Bank of Bottineau and their search for financing for the business acquisition that Josh and his family got in touch with Dakota Certified Development Corporation (now Dakota Business Lending) and was introduced to the SBA 504 loan program.
“Basically, they figured out how all of this was going to get financed and make it so it was affordable for us to be able to run, make payments, and still have operating money,” Josh continued.
It took loans from the State Bank of Bottineau, Dakota CDC (now Dakota Business Lending), and several other financing partners to pull the complete package together for the transaction to become a reality.
From there came the start of Mikkelsen Aggregates, LLC. Today, its reputation stands strong due to one of the many reasons why the community loves them: their family.
“Everyone—the whole community—was pretty happy that our family decided to continue on with the business instead of selling it out to somebody or some other company,” Josh added. “They were glad we took it over and Monte didn’t sell it to someone from out of the area.”
Mikkelsen Aggregates is one of the bigger employers in Bottineau, employing around 30 people.
Mikkelsen Aggregates, LLC is known for their high quality, honest, and competitive working environment that cares about every job they do, big or small. They are unique because of the amount and te diversity of the services they provide. From site building with their heavy equipment, making their own aggregates with their crushing plant, mixing ready-mix, excavating, trucking, gravel hauling, rip rapping, and digging basements, Mikkelsen Aggregates is a one-stop shop. Other businesses have come to Bottineau to work with Mikkelsen Aggregates because of this. “We worked with them and they were more than happy to work with our company because basically from the groundbreaking all the way up to the concrete, that’s one company,” Josh added. With Mikkelsen Aggregates, he continued, “you’re not dealing with multiple companies trying to line people up.”
Josh would love to see other businesses work to expand as long as they can make it work. Because small businesses won’t always make an investment, they tend to be dying out more and more. “You have to put yourself out there and hope for the best,” Josh advised. To him, the key to this is support.
“That’s what I got with Dakota CDC (now Dakota Business Lending)…they were always reassuring. It wasn’t like it was some far away company that was going to loan us money. They were up here, they met us, they came to see what we were all about, and I just feel like they genuinely wanted to help us in any way that they could.”
Mikkelsen Aggregates, LLC, a member of the local chamber of commerce, has been pushed to the forefront of the construction and aggregate industry as several of the other construction and aggregate companies in the Bottineau area have dissipated. Its employees take pride in their work and plan to continue to operate the company and move it forward. As Josh has said many times,
“I just love it. I wake up in the morning looking forward to going to work. It’s what I always wanted to do…and I can’t see myself doing anything else.”