Mid Star Lab brings growing business to Tonganoxie
A local business has come full circle in its own right.
Mid Star Lab had a ribbon cutting last month at its new site in the Urban Hess Business with help from the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce.
Owners Kari and Ron Wagner saw their three children graduate from Tonganoxie High School, while their business, an orthotic manufacturing company, has made the rounds.
The business started in 1998 out of a garage in a rental home in Basehor.
After six months, they moved into a 1,200-square-foot building and then, in 2000, moved into a 2,400-square-foot building on their property in rural Tonganoxie.
In 2011, it was on to Edwardsville and a larger 5,000-square-foot space.
Earlier this year, as winter turned to spring, the company moved into Tonganoxie’s Urban Hess Business Center and a 10,800-square-foot space.
The building, formerly the home to the Right Choice pharmaceutical company, again helped double the company’s footprint. And this time had them back where their children went to school.
“I love the fact that this is now our hometown,” Kari Wagner said. “We can say that even though we grew up in Nebraska … it’s home for us and the kids. It’s great to be back in the city they grew up in.”
The company provides custom shoe inserts to podiatrists, chiropractors, physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons nationally, but now they have added services open to the general public, as folks can make appointments at their Tonganoxie location.
Daughter Jennifer Belcher and her husband are involved in the company, while another daughter, Kelsey Huber, works out of the company’s South Dakota office as prosthetist and orthotist. Jennifer also is an orthopedist.
The South Dakota office is one of nine clinics the company has throughout the Midwest, with others in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa.
Wagner said she travels often with Huber, who graduated a year early from Tonganoxie High School and finished a six-year academic program in three years, earning a degree from Oklahoma State University and additional schooling online.
The family business certainly has grown over time. In 2013, it was the Kansas Existing Business of the Year. It now employs nearly 35 people at its clinics and its new home in Tonganoxie.
Roughly 25 people are employed at the Urban Hess location, 1701 Commerce Drive.
With that growth has come record production.
Wagner said the company broke its own monthly records in producing 900 pair of orthotic products for customer’s feet. In June, it was 969 and is now pushing 1,000 per month.
Wagner said the company has partnered with the Veterans Administration for orthotic care for patients and is hoping to also work with the Department of Defense for services.
Last month, Chamber of Commerce members got to see the inner workings of the business after enjoying refreshments and an official ribbon cutting.
For general information about the company or scheduling an appointment for potential foot supports, call the business at 913-369-8734.
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