In 1928, three years after graduating from Chelsea High School, Lloyd Heydlauff started an electrical business in a garage on Orchard Street. The business progressed from door to door sales of Delco Lighting plants to area farmers to the sale of wringer washers and electric refrigerators. Lloyd later introduced more modern electric appliances. In 1932, the business was located in the Merkel block behind Dillion and Tuttle barbers.
In 1936 the business was moved to the basement of Winans Jewelry Store where it remained throughout the War. Due to the lack of wartime manufacturing, Lloyd focused his business on appliance service to survive.
In 1944, Lloyd Heydlauff partnered with Louis Bernath to purchase the old Glazier office building from A. W. Wilkinson. It was quickly equipped with freezer lockers for a new frozen storage business in the lower level of the building. The new business was called 'Frigid Products'. Lloyd continued to conduct his retail appliance business at the Winans location for a short time before moving to the newly named Frigid Products location. In 1946, he reportedly erected the largest sign, to that point, in the Village of Chelsea. In 1955, Lloyd's son, George, joined the business.
In addition to appliance sales, Lloyd Heydlauff sold televisions, stereos, vinyl LPs and single records. In 1969, George Heydlauff expanded the business by purchasing and renovating the building next door. Shortly thereafter, in August of 1970, the distinctive building on Main Street, and all that was in it, was destroyed in a disastrous fire. Everything went up in smoke except the Heydlauff family spirit and generosity of good neighbors. The Longworth family, whose business was across the street from the ruined building, offered the Heydlauff family space in their recently vacated front showroom while a new building was being built. After the Friday night fire, the Heydlauff family missed only one business day – Saturday – before opening across the street on Monday morning.
Since all of the records were destroyed in the fire, Lloyd and George had no way of knowing what bills customers had outstanding. Amazingly, people started showing up to pay their bills. Lloyd estimated that the business received almost 100% of the money owed to it all through the honesty and kindness of the people of Chelsea.
Following the fire Lloyd turned the business over to his son, George, and the frozen locker business was closed. After demolition of the burnt out shell, a new building was constructed on same foundation of the old building. In February 1971, the Heydlauff family reopened the business in the new building under the name 'Heydlauff's Inc'. In the mid-seventies, George's three sons – Mark, Matt, and Steve – joined him as the third generation in the appliance and electronics business. In 1983, Lloyd Heydlauff passed away.
George passed ownership to Mark, Matt, and Steve in 2000. Mark manages the store while Matt handles deliveries and installations, and Steve heads the service department. In 2004, the Heydlauff's acquired 12,000 square feet of warehouse space in Chelsea's industrial park. This allowed Heydlauff's to better manage its inventory and free up the store's basement for an extensive display of "scratch and dent" and closeout merchandise. An upstairs showroom was converted into a premium appliance showroom in 2006 and several kitchen displays were installed throughout the store.
Be sure to stop in and experience the personal service the Heydlauff family has offered Chelsea and the surrounding area for over 80 years!