In 1925, Mathias and Mary Fischer came to Lebanon Township Minnesota with their nine children to find a better life on a 120 acre farm. We think it worked out pretty well. Not at first, of course, as the family struggled to get by with dairy cattle and some farming land that seemed to have as much rock as soil. The sons always complained that the potato digger used to pick up more rocks than potatoes. That rock, however, attracted those needing construction materials.
From that simple beginning, the Fischer family of Lebanon Township built a series of businesses based on sand and gravel. The gravel pit on the old farm was the hub. During the Depression years, Dakota County’s borrow pit on the farm gave much needed extra income to the family. After the Second World War, the main focus of the family became highway construction. The next generation of Fischers worked together to build the construction and gravel business. Brothers Raymond, George, Gene, and Mathias led the way as the area started to grow. Road construction jobs led the brothers all over the state of Minnesota with Fischer Construction.
From there the family branched into more and more businesses. Nearly all of the family children and their children started to get involved. Gas stations, sewer and water construction, tire business, fence business all located in their gravel pit in what now had become Apple Valley, Minnesota. In 1966, youngest son Mathias Fischer bought the concrete plant and a few concrete mixer trucks and started Apple Valley Red-E-Mix, Inc. With brother George running the plant and as general manager and salesman, the concrete business slowly started to grow. By 1972, the “fleet” had grown to eight trucks, primarily serving the new suburb of Apple Valley being built by Orrin Thompson Homes.
By the mid-70s, road construction had slowed, but the demand for aggregates and concrete in the Twin City metro area was quickly growing. With the acquisition of Suburban Concrete and Western Concrete in 1973, Apple Valley Red-E-Mix suddenly became a force in the local market. With nearly 80 trucks and plants in other suburbs, Apple Valley Red-E-Mix became the first mid-sized concrete company in the nation to develop pc computer based dispatch systems. A curb and gutter concrete placement company was added.
The mid 1980’s brought big organization changes. Mathias and his wife, Ann bought out his brothers from the other businesses and all the companies were reorganized as AVR, Inc.
By this time, the third generations of Fischer’s were a big part of the business. The business grew rapidly with the acquisition of AME Red-E-Mix, Inc. headquartered in Elk River, Minnesota in 1988.
With the death of Mathias Fischer in 2000, the responsibility moved to his son, Peter, and his daughter, Liza Robson who now run the family business from their Apple Valley headquarters located on the site of the old family farm. Their leadership has created additional growth and expansion. New aggregate reserves have been acquired in Empire Township, MN that will ensure a future supply for quality aggregates and concrete products. New facilities have been built in Burnsville, Buffalo, and Monticello MN. The development of the farm into a nationally recognized shopping center featuring ICF (insulated concrete form) construction of national chain business locations along with concrete parking lots has been a centerpiece of the reclamation program.
Today’s AVR combines many different businesses that have been built on the same philosophy that started it all. Hard work and innovation is the key. Each affiliate company was acquired or started to fit a construction material network that allows us to fully service our customers and communities. From our founders’ experience as contractors, we have been taught that service and quality bring real value. Lowest price upfront doesn’t necessarily mean lowest cost by the end of the job.
Promises made, Promises Delivered.