After more than 40 years in the auto glass industry, taking care of their customers and maintaining a good reputation remains a priority for Lou and Rose Denning of Denning Auto Glass in Coldwater, Mich. Safety is at the top of the list.
The couple entered the auto glass field in 1990 and started Denning Auto Glass in 2003. A big 20th anniversary in July brought out customers, community members, and even a local radio station to celebrate. The event provided a capstone to their successful auto glass business.
Their story begins in the late 1980s when Lou lost his job when the factory he worked at closed. Casting about to find some way to make a living, he thought about trade school and becoming an electrician.
They bounced ideas off Rose’s dad; nothing seemed just right. Then, one day, they saw an ad for an auto glass shop for sale and asked him what he thought of the opportunity.
“He went down the next day and bought the shop,” Rose says. “We were young and didn’t know a thing about glass, so we had to learn from the bottom up.”They went into business with Rose’s brother, but after a while, he wanted to exit, so they sold the company. After the expiration of a non-compete agreement, the couple started doing auto glass replacements out of their home and garage.
“The funny thing is we found a building right next to our old building,” Rose says. “A parking lot was all that was left of it.”
They rented the new place next door for a few years before eventually buying the building.
“We only do auto glass,” Rose says. “We used to do flat glass, residential, and a little commercial, but when COVID-19 hit we had to let all of our employees go. We went to all auto glass.”
Denning Auto Glass now employs five, including the husband and wife team.
They primarily perform in-shop replacement and repair, completing about three installs daily.
“We try not to do mobile because most of our customers come here,” she says.
The only mobile installs they handle involve work at a large Walmart distribution center. They also tackle auto glass replacements in tractor-trailers and heavy equipment.
Recently the Dennings renewed the company’s membership in the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) because industry standards, training, and their reputation in the Coldwater, Mich., community means so much to them.
“AGSC gives us credibility in this industry,” Rose says. “They hold us to a higher standard. I love that.”
Lou says, “We live in a farm community. We know a lot of people, that’s why we make sure we take care of our customers. The Auto Glass Safety Council is something we can point to as a quality standard.”
Denning Auto Glass is a registered member company of the Auto Glass Safety Council and employs AGSC-trained and certified auto glass technicians.