Almost 80 years in appliances

Peterson Electric a second-generation fixture on Norway’s Main Street

DEBBIE, LEFT, AND Jim Peterson run Peterson Electric in Norway, a second-generation family business that sells and services home appliances. (Nikki Younk/Daily News photo)

NORWAY — Peterson Electric in Norway has been selling and servicing appliances for nearly 79 years, and the owners attribute that longevity to dedicated staff and loyal customers.

The second-generation family business is led by Jim Peterson and his wife, Debbie.

They are Maytag, Frigidaire and GE product dealers, and sell all types of kitchen, laundry and home appliances as well as televisions. In addition, they service all appliances but not televisions.

Jim’s parents, Oscar and Helen Peterson, started Peterson Electric in October 1939. Oscar, a salesman, had been working for someone else when he decided to buy them out, Jim said.

The store originally was at 640 Main St., where Dr. David Van Holla’s office now stands.

PETERSON ELECTRIC IS at 615 Main St. in Norway. (Nikki Younk/Daily News photo)

When Jim joined the family business full-time in the 1970s, he decided to move Peterson Electric across the street to 615 Main St., which had been the store’s warehouse. They owned the 615 property and only rented the 640 building, he explained.

Peterson Electric truly is a family business; Helen worked as a bookkeeper until she was almost 90 years old, and Jim’s aunt, Pearl Madson, helped with sales and office work for at least 55 years, Jim said. Jim and Debbie’s children, as well as Debbie’s dad, Robert Pretto, all worked in the store at times, he added.

They’ve had many other valuable employees throughout the years, Debbie pointed out, including current full-time service technician Dan Turini, full-time delivery worker Tom Bonetti, seasonal delivery worker Reid Berndt and part-time office assistant Kim Glanville.

Although other appliance stores in the area have closed down in recent years, Peterson Electric still sees a steady stream of customers through its doors.

“We’re just a mom-and-pop store, but Jim devoted his entire life to this,” Debbie said.

Oscar and Helen Peterson, at left, started Peterson Electric in October 1939. At that time, the store was at 640 Main St., across the street from its current location. (Submitted photo)

Jim gives credit to the hard work of his parents, but he and Debbie have followed in their footsteps, regularly working six days a week.

It’s a passion, Debbie said, adding she and Jim enjoy building relationships with customers. And those customers keep coming back and recommending Peterson Electric to their family and friends, she added.

Peterson Electric is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.