Western Bearing will be hosting its annual Spring Open House this Thursday April 25th, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In the week leading up to the event, owner Doug Borland took some time to reflect on the company’s history in the area.

“Western Bearing was started in 1966, by my dad, Ian Borland, who had moved to Portage to manage what was then the Gillis and Warren store. Once he got settled in the community, he saw the opportunity and went on his own and started Western Bearing. At the time it was predominantly an automotive and agricultural supply company, but we’ve grown over the years and have changed with the times.”

Western Bearing is a very local company. They’re Portage la Prairie proud. Borland says that because they know the region so well, they know what kind of inventory other locals are looking for.

“We carry a pretty extensive inventory of the products within our sphere, and we pride ourselves on our service model – having knowledgeable staff and excellent delivery service.”

Having knowledgeable staff is no small feat when you carry as many products as Western Bearing does, but their loyal clientele keeps coming back because the product knowledge and service truly is top-notch.

“We carry a huge breadth of product,” Borland explains. “We have an extensive line of hard part replacements, from bearings to seals, belts to chain, for all agricultural and industrial applications. We also have probably the biggest selection of tools -- whether hand tools or power tools -- anywhere around.”

The list keeps going. And growing.

“We carry a very big selection of chemicals and lubricants,” continues Borland. “We carry janitorial sanitation products from paper to cleaning supplies to personal protective equipment. From outerwear to workwear, coveralls, all those sorts of things. We have a very extensive list of products that we stock and carry day-to-day.”

Every spring and fall, Western Bearing hosts an Open House Sale – a chance to showcase new products, introduce new product lines, and provide lucrative specials – and this year is no different.

“We want to offer some really attractive pricing for our customers to take advantage of, some new lubrication lines which should go well as seeding is about to start.”

Borland says they’ve managed to put together some fantastic savings, and having those along with factory reps onsite to provide specific product knowledge, answer questions, and do demos, brings a ton of value to the Spring Open House Sale at Western Bearing.

“We're always bringing in new product lines. Milwaukee is a big draw for us – they’re always innovating and constantly releasing new tools. It never stops with those guys!”

The Spring Open House happens Thursday April 25th, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. But Borland has a warning for shoppers.

“If you're really serious about getting a specific product or deal, try to be here early, because we may run out of some things.”

The Spring Open House Sale is a huge draw for Western Bearing and Auto Parts, but Borland says there’s something else that drives their product knowledge and customer service, day in and day out:

“We're a proud local company. We've been here for 58 years. Locally owned. And most of the people who work here all live in town or in the surrounding areas, and you know, we think that that means something.