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Inside Business: Keller Hearth and Home

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Man has been using fire to keep warm for thousands of years, but you don't have to rub two sticks together these days to start a flame.

Mike Keller and his wife Ruth started what would become Keller Hearth and Home Products on the Strip 37 years ago, primarily as a wood stove dealer. They've seen a lot of changes in the industry since then.

"Well you know, we started in wood burning like everybody did back in those days. The EPA has put a few restrictions on wood burning, so we're kind of looking at following those of course," says owner Mike Keller. "Everything we buy has to be EPA compliant to burn wood and to buy and sell anywhere in this country, so we're dealing with that.  The gas products that we're offering are becoming more sophisticated, as you can see behind me here, this Lineal product is probably one of the newest innovations in gas fireplaces."

And, as consumers have become more sophisticated, fireplace manufacturers have kept the heat on their designers to keep coming up with new styles.

"I think its all about the design and what we're doing to our homes.  We want something different, we want something unique.  Its going from here forward.  There's new vertical looking fireplaces, some horizontal, we try our best to stay on the leading edge, we try to buy product that is ready for market, so we're not selling you something that's not quite ready to be in your home," says Keller.

Fire's been around since the dawn of time, and we've used it to heat our homes and cook our meat.  Keller says that things have changed quite a bit over the years with the advent of new technology.

"There's a lot of choices in this market.  New technology, electric operating systems, rather than standing pilot and older technology like that. Lot of nice designs, lot of different media, lots of different log designs and lots of different installation looks.  We offer a lot of stone and brick products to finish off the fireplaces," says Keller.  

Keller Hearth and Home also handles a wide variety of decorative stone, brick, tile, hot tubs and saunas, and even some specialty grills. In addition to Mandan, they have operated a Dickinson store since the 1980s.

For more information you can check out their website at www.kellerhhp.com



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