The Burmeister Story

The Burmeister story is truly an American story. It began in the mid-1800s when the first members of the Burmeister family arrived in the US from Germany. With them they brought generations of experience in the building industry, a strong work ethic, and a desire to succeed and form part of the American Dream.

Two generations later, in the early 1920s, Marvin Burmeister fulfilled that dream when he opened Advanced Millwork. Located in Milwaukee, the company manufactured and installed cabinets which Marvin himself delivered, pulling them in a trailer behind his own car. The business thrived until the Great Depression when, like so many other companies of the time, Advanced Millwork was forced to close its doors. But Marvin was not a man to give up easily. He weathered the storm as best he could and when the market finally began to turn around, he was ready to start again.

In 1937 Marvin reopened his business, this time as Burmeister Woodwork Co. Mirroring the history of the country, Burmeister supported the war effort, producing thousands of Howitzer tool boxes during WWII. After the war, Burmeister, along with the rest of the economy, quickly shifted gears back to the domestic market and began producing cabinets used in the building boom of the 1950s and 60s.

In 1964 the company changed hands for the first time when George Burmeister purchased the business from his uncle Marvin. It was George who added finished stairways to the product line, making the company a full-service millwork manufacturer and supplier. In 1981 Russell Burmeister purchased the business from his father and, along with his brother Greg, led Burmeister to specialize in high-end, custom millwork.

In 2015, John Sprenger purchased the company. A US Naval Academy graduate and former jet pilot, Sprenger brings management experience, leadership and passion for history, American ingenuity and quality to the company and is committed to carrying on the Burmeister legacy.

“I was attracted to the company because of the beauty and craftsmanship of each and every piece produced by Burmeister. Attention to detail and striving to be the very best is something I learned to appreciate in the military. For nearly 80 years the company has forged a reputation for producing the highest quality products backed by the highest standard of service. I am proud of the Burmeister history and look forward to continuing the story.” – John Sprenger.