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St. Cloud Refrigeration: Wartime Influence Leads to Lifetime of Central Minnesota Service

St. Cloud Refrigeration (SCR) was founded in 1957 by Don Fitch after he returned from World War II where he was assigned to guard Germans who worked on the refrigeration equipment at a Prisoners of War (POW) camp. Early on, SCR provided appliance sales, repair, and maintenance for bulk milk coolers and soda fountains along with mechanical refrigeration services. Mike Fitch joined his father in the early 70s and expanded service offerings to HVAC—heating, ventilation, and cooling capabilities.

A few years later, Pat Welty joined SCR as the first-ever salesman. Over the following years, they expanded the services of SCR and grew to multiple locations throughout the state, and a service territory covering a large portion of the upper Midwest. As the company grew over the years, Scott Fitch, Mark Fitch, and Ryan Welty all joined the business in different capacities.

Today, SCR is the premier Midwest mechanical contractor with locations in St. Cloud, Brainerd/Baxter, Duluth/Superior, Rochester, Mankato, and the Twin Cities. The company’s industries served include food service and processing, manufacturing, healthcare, education, agriculture, and grocery-based entities.

Generations Deep

St. Cloud Refrigeration family businessAsk anyone at SCR who is behind the company’s steady success and the answer will be unanimous. It’s the people of Central Minnesota who have really helped SCR grow and achieve its reputation as one of the best.

Ryan Welty, co-owner, said, “One of our company values is stability and we’re always making sure that we are stable as a company. We strive to ensure that we are working with communities that align with our values in order to pursue consistency and stability. We have been fortunate to have great partners in the communities that we serve in order to maintain steady growth.”

He continued, “The people of Central Minnesota are what excites us most. We have been fortunate to begin our legacy in this area, and to have so many great people to work with. We will continue to be strong in this community and look forward to working with the future generations well beyond today.”

The Future is Family

Any business that has survived (and flourished!) beyond six decades knows there’s a difference between employees and family. Welty explained, “The biggest value for us is family. The Central Minnesota community does a great job of teaching and modeling what family not only does, but what it means to be a great family member. Family to us means that we are a team of people working for a common goal with empathy and integrity for those in our family. St. Cloud Shines has done a great job helping grow and improve the community. And, SCR has been fortunate enough to experience growth and due to that success, we will continue to grow and invest in our community.”

About St. Cloud Refrigeration

“The Central Minnesota community has been the foundation of the SCR family. It is exciting to watch second, third, and soon-to-be fourth generations of this community become involved in the SCR family either as an employee, customer, vendor, or partner.”

If you’re interested in joining the SCR family, head to its Career page for opportunities including paid internships.