Bitter Neumann buys Hansen Furniture
Tim and Mary Angsten retire
By James Card
Tim and Mary Angsten, owners of Hansen Furniture, Appliance and Flooring have sold their business to Bitter Neumann, a similar business with stores in Sheboygan and Manitowoc.
Their reason for selling is retirement.
“My wife and I have been doing this for a long time and we have 15 grandkids to chase,” said Tim Angsten.
The business was started in 1970 by Carl Hansen as Hansen TV, and he sold it to Tim’s father in 1970. They kept the Hansen name as it was already established and it made for easy customer recognition.
Dan Radue, the new owner, has a background similar to the Angstens. The Bitter Nuemann business was started by his great grandfather and he’s the fourth generation in his family’s business. In February the company will be 100 years old.
Both family businesses have a similar evolution: they both no longer sell televisions. They added appliances around the same time and got into furniture business around the same time.
“It’s an easy transition for our customers and our salespeople” said Tim Angsten. Both companies sell similar lines of products and offer similar services.
According to Angsten and Radue, the business will remain 100 percent the same. Erica Craven will still continue to manage the Waupaca store.
“That was my big goal coming in here was to be sure that everybody employed here knew that their job is secure. Why change what’s been good? I told them in a meeting: this is your store. You teach me what’s going on. I don’t want to change a thing unless they are comfortable with it,” said Radue.
Over the years they saw all kinds of style trends come and go, from furniture in mauve and country blue to gold fixtures and fittings.
Many manufacturers have a come and gone, often going out of business due to lower quality products in a quest for a cheaper price.
“The thing that I have really seen grow in our business are the Amish goods. We’re seeing more and more people want that quality craftsmanship,” said Mary Angsten.
Radue pointed out that they would not sell anything that they would not want in their own homes. Tim Angsten agreed.
“Our company philosophies are the same. We want to treat our customers right. We want to treat our employees right,” said Radue.