From 8-tracks to iPods, Hi-Pro Audio celebrates 25 years
Nov. 2, 2012 at 6:02 a.m.
Updated Nov. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.
What began as a dream for one Victoria man grew into a full-fledged family business. While the founder may no longer be around, his memory remains strong at the company's next milestone event.
Hi-Pro Audio celebrates its 25th anniversary Saturday with a parking lot party for customers.
The audio business got its start in 1987 with David Rother, said Henry Hosek III, Rother's brother-in-law and the company's store manager. The business's first location was at Green Acres Garden Center, where Rother did landscaping work for his parents' business.
"He'd been working on sprinkler systems and things like that, and it just evolved from there," he said. "It really grew."
Rother died in a 1991 car wreck, Hosek said. Although a devastating blow to the family, he said they worked to continue his dream.
With time, he said, came change.
First came the standard radio, Hosek said, followed by the cassette player, CD player and, now, USB drives.
"Everything's going to the computer age," he said. "We've had to adapt."
It doesn't end there, however.
Janet Hosek, Henry's wife and the company's bookkeeper, said other technology - such as navigation systems, video systems and more - has also meant change.
"Now, cars are computer controlled," she said. "It's hard to find good help, too, because cars and computers change from one year to another."
Running the business hasn't always been easy, she said, but it means a lot to know she and her family are helping to continue her brother's memory.
The staff Saturday will wear shirts boasting the phrase "Remember when," along with a picture of Rother's van, said Karissa Hosek, an installer with the company. That van has substantial meaning for the company, too, Janet said.
"My brother sold that van so he could pay to pour this building's foundation," she said. "That was before the rest of the family was involved, when we were just on the sidelines."
Saturday's event, which spans 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., will feature cars and boats on display, a tent sale and a drawing for a pair of 10-inch subwoofers, said Justin Hosek, the company's assistant manager. It takes place at the shop, 5209 N. John Stockbauer Drive.
A live remote by the radio station 95 KVIC lasts from 4 to 6 p.m.
Henry Hosek said he looked forward to Saturday, but couldn't believe the company had reached its quarter-century mark.
"Time has flown," he said. "But with the blessings from God and God's grace, we've been doing fine."