Three generations of Trobys on hand to serve customers

By Chance Chamberlain

Troby’s Maytag Home Appliance Center has operated in Harrisonville for three decades with the help of three generations of Trobys working side-by-side to deliver a family-like experience in their store.

Troby’s conducts business at 200 Plaza Dr., but Richard and Earlene Troby started their business in 1991 at Gaslight Plaza under the name, “Midwest Appliance Parts.”

Earlene said, “After the Leeds Plant in Kansas City closed down, we decided that we would work for ourselves. We opened the shop over at Gaslight and worked from there for a decade before we bought the land and built a new store here at this location. We’ve been in this building for 20 years.”

The couple and their children, Stacand Kim, worked in the original Gaslight Plaza location, providing parts and service to customers. Richard made the service calls while Earlene worked the counter and the others helped any way that they could.

After the first nine years, however, Kim said the family knew it was time to “go big or go home.” So, Richard and Earlene bought land on Plaza Drive and built Troby’s Maytag Appliance Center in May 2000 with the help of Maytag, a task that Earlene said was tough to accomplish.

“We built the building from the ground up and we really went after Maytag to get them on board in the beginning. It is difficult getting American companies on board because you have to pass background checks and do a lot of paperwork, but we knew it would be worth it,” she said.

The store added Whirlpool appliances after the two companies merged in 2006.

“We sell Maytag and Whirlpool because they are the only appliances in which the parts and the appliances themselves are completely built in the USA,” Kim said proudly.

Earlene said it is important to them to support American manufacturers because it keeps American people working.

“We believe in keeping business in America and that’s why we chose Maytag back when we started. We want to see Americans employed and that’s just what we do here,” she said.

Currently, there are five family members from three generations working in the store. In addition to Richard, Earlene, Kim and Stacy, the crew now includes Stacy’s son, Jeremiah.

Earlene said it’s beneficial to business to work with family because it makes it easier to communicate amongst one another.

“We all understand each other more than regular coworkers do. It makes working together easier because we can almost finish each other’s sentences. It really helps our customer service too.

“The family feeling is why we have such loyal customers. We have had a consistent customer base here at the store since we’ve been open because we know how to treat people right,” she said.

Troby’s customer service helped the store during the COVID-19 shutdown earlier this year when they were deemed an essential business. Kim said the showroom looked empty because they were selling so much product.

“We were so busy during the shutdown, our stock ran low and everything was on back order. We had to regulate how many people were in the store at any one time, so we didn’t go over the limit,” she said.

Kim said customers feel like an extension of the Troby family when they enter the store, even during trying times because they get treated like they’re another member of the family.

“This has been a good business for our family. We have prospered here and grown. But that’s because Mom and Dad did their research and provided the products that folks wanted and needed. We provided the best for our customers,” she said. “We believe in hard work and family values. Our customers love the fact they know who they are dealing with. We have generations of customers who come here to purchase appliances.

“We’re all Troby’s here.”