Co2 Plus set to expand
NILES – As a new member of the Niles Chamber of Commerce, Mat Burnham is busy preparing for his business’ ribbon cutting ceremony in May.
Burnham owns Co2 Plus, 410 Fort St., Niles. The business celebrated its second anniversary in March, but Burnham and manager, TJ Granacki, are looking forward as their business continues to expand.
The business started two years ago to supply, or carbon dioxide, as the need grew along with local industries.
“Everybody started growing medical marijuana and needed CO2,” Burnham said. “Restaurants needed it, and I got familiar with them. People were in dire need of it. [Tee business] started there, and then people started reaching out to us for welding gases, then beer gas.”
Burnham said after beginning to supply medical marijuana growers, word of mouth referrals started making contact and the requests for other products kept them learning about the products.
From originally supplying carbon dioxide, the “plus” now includes welding gases for automotive shops, food grade gases for beverages, helium for floral shops, medical oxygen for area veterinarians, dentists and senior centers, propane and butane. The company’s tagline is that they are “the good gas guys.”
“It kept going. It hasn’t stopped,” Burnham said of the orders the company continues to fill.
“We try to supply the community with anything to get their job done,” Granacki said.
Burnham originally moved to the Niles area from Michigan City, Indiana, about eight years ago with the intentions of getting into flipping properties. Granacki joined Burnham in the business before he graduated high school, putting in hours after school let out.
Recently, Co2 Plus hired a third person, Mickie Hunt, to help them keep on top of paperwork and communications.
The building CO2 Plus inhabits has multiple garage doors and entrances.
“We started renting parts of the building out in the beginning. Then we ended up buying the whole thing,” Burnham said.
Today, the entrance for CO2 Plus is in the first third of the lot as customers enter the lot. There is a sign with an arrow indicating the door to get to the office for service.
Just beyond the retail space, one can see kennel space outside as well. The kennels are a part of Burnham and Granacki’s next venture: Burnham Bully Farms.
“They’re American bullies, not pit bulls,” Burnham said, of the dogs on the property. “Pit bulls are good too, but these are American bulldogs.”
Burnham and Granacki are putting in work to learn about breeding the dogs, and finding dogs with the disposition they admire.
“We want the lovers, and the ones who will still guard the home when you’re at work,” Burnham said. “But the ones that also let anyone you want in. Dogs can sense that.”
He said the dogs are just another passion of he and Granacki.
When the two are not making deliveries of product to customers once a week, getting orders fulfilled for pickup, or taking care of the American bulldogs, they both have automobile and motorcycle hobbies they like to talk to their customer about as well.
“I fell in love with Niles,” Burnham said.
He said he still lives in a home he remodeled and intended to flip.
More information about Co2 Plus can be found at its website, Co2Plus.business.site, or by calling (269) 683-4844.
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