Rettberg’s Inc. on the Divernon square, evolved from a small radio and electronics store in the 1940s and 1950s to today’s business, which provides plumbing, electrical work, heating and air conditioning, whole-house stand-by generators, and the sale and maintenance of appliances.
Jake Rettberg is the current owner of the corporation, and is the son of Ernie Rettberg, who started the business in 1948. Ernie usually performed service calls while his wife, Betty, and mother, Elizabeth Rettberg, helped run the store during the day.
Rettberg’s started nearly 60 years ago as a radio and electronics store. It grew to include televisions, appliances, household products, hardware, greeting cards and gifts by the 1960s. The community (Divernon) supported this line of retail for many years, but with the change in times and the number of larger stores and malls on the rise in nearby Springfield, the decision was made to limit service and sales to meet the greatest need.
The business was then able to focus on expanding its services in appliance sales and service, electrical contracting, heating and cooling, and plumbing. Mr. Rettberg wasn’t afraid of change and because of his strong work ethic, his business continued to thrive. Those same principles were instilled in his sons, Dirk and Jake.
While Dirk and Jake were growing up, they worked in the family business, went to college, and then returned to their hometown to take charge of the business in the 1980s. The enterprise has added more employees in recent years and has expanded its service radius to include surrounding counties in Central Illinois. In 2004, the company began selling whole house stand-by generators. With this expansion, the service radius grew even larger. In 2005, Jake Rettberg became sole owner of the company.
Governmental regulations and high-tech innovations have influenced the business.
These regulations cover the licensing of the specialists Rettberg’s employs. The business strives to keep up with computer technology as well.
The showroom at Rettberg’s includes some old appliances and old TV – reminders of where the electronic business has been and how far it’s come.