ST. PAUL PARK - Donald and Mary Drigans took a risk when starting Park Grove Electric in 1973, but it has paid off.
"When first we were in business, we operated from out of our home," Mary Drigans said. "We had four kids at home at the time. It was difficult, but we managed to do it."
Forty-five years later, two of those four children - Don and Jim - now own and manage the business.
"It's been 45 years," she said. "It seems like it was just yesterday."
Park Grove Electric has been named the Business of the Year for the 2018 Heritage Days festival.
The couple moved to St. Paul Park from Duluth in 1969, but it quickly felt like home to them, Mary Drigans said. They worked out of a shop in Newport for a number of years, but eventually settled back in St. Paul Park at their current location.
"It's been great serving St. Paul Park, Cottage Grove and Newport," Don Drigans said.
Owning a business in their home community makes them feel better connected, Mary Drigans said, and being named Business of the Year even more so.
"Makes me feel a better part of the community because the fact that our business is being recognized," she said. "It's been a lot of years that we've worked with a lot of businesses in the area."
Mary still handles some of the operations, but at 80, she said this will be her last year. She didn't come to the decision lightly.
"It becomes a part of you, especially when your family is running it," she said.
Park Grove Electric is at 520 Pullman Ave. For more information, call 651-459-8888.