A Short History of Stan’s by Chris Strand
As Stan’s current owner, I thought you’d like to know a little bit more about our past. Stan’s has a rich history, and is one of the only companies that still remembers the days when a family rejoiced at the installation of a single window air conditioning unit. We were there at the start, and we’ve been here ever since.
Stan Johnson Sr., born and raised in Austin, has always had a knack for all things mechanical. He had been a partner in a filling service station on Barton Springs Road for a bit, worked as a union carpenter, and finally worked for a local AC service company, where he found his true calling. Frustrated with the company he was working for, Stan decided to strike out on his own. In 1954, he and his wife opened their own AC Service business, built around his expertise and dedication to customer service.
The original office for Stan’s Service and Installation was located in the backyard of a house at Denson and Guadalupe. At a very early age, Stan’s son, Stan Johnson Jr. went along on his first service call for his dad’s company. Growing up in the business, Stan Jr. found himself on a service truck during his high school and college years. It wasn’t until the mid 1960s that central air conditioning became affordable to most central Texans. From the outset, Stan’s was in the forefront of installing and servicing this newly accessible technology.
By the mid 1980s, Stan Sr. and Stan Jr. had achieved enormous success. Because of Stan’s dedication to provide quality service, and to guaranteeing all of their work, fruitful relationships were formed, and continue to this day. The family owned Stan’s was thriving.
Between 1973 and 1984, Stan’s installed more than half of all AC systems for new construction homes built in Austin.
In 1986, the Savings and Loan crisis caused the worst economic downturn since 1929. The future seemed bleak: all across Austin, builders and developers went bankrupt, causing most sub-contractors to close their doors as well. Seeing former business partners and competitors folding all around them, Stan’s also felt the pressure. In a few years, their revenue fell almost 90%. In 1987 Stan Jr. took over the reins and immediately set to work. To go under would mean abandoning their customers in a time of need, and that was something that Stan’s simply couldn’t do.
Times were very tough, and at one point Stan’s even looked doomed, but Stan Jr. resolved never to give up. And he didn’t. Weathering the storm, and riding the boom on the 90s, Stan’s rose to have record years in 2007/2008, and to become one of the industry’s leaders.
If the story of Stan’s proves one thing, it is this: if you take care of your customers, they will take care of you.
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