Robert S. Dean, Sr. started this business in Fort Myers, Florida in 1947 as a welding and machine shop. The business was located in a rented building next to Tharr’s Packing House on Anderson Avenue (now known as Martin Luther King Ave). The post-war years brought recession and shortages of spare parts. Bob Dean Welding was able to repair and rebuild worn farm machinery and equipment of all types with an expertise that brought repeat business and success.
Robert S. Dean, Sr.
Started this business in Fort Myers, Florida in 1947 as a welding and machine shop.
In 1951 property was purchased and the company relocated across the street to the corner of Cottage Street and Anderson Avenue in a building fabricated by the company. That building is now the Steel Shed located at the back of the company’s current headquarters.
In 1951 property was purchased and the company relocated across the street.
The business grew, and in 1966 our location on Hanson Street was purchased and the main plant constructed. By this time, the company avereaged 25 employees with 12 to 14 in the Welding and Machine Shop, and the remainder active in the sales division. It was at this time that the company began to focus on Mill Supply sales.
The Business Grew
Our location on Hanson Street was purchased and the main plant constructed.
In 1956 Bob Jr. started college at the University of Florida. He graduated in the summer of 1960 with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree. Bob was employed by General Telephone Company of Florida for a few months as the Shop Foreman. He returned to Bob Dean Welding shortly thereafter. In 1971 Bob Jr. purchased the company’s outstanding stock and a year later reincorporated to drop the “welding” from the company name to better represent our increased emphasis in Mill Supplies and, new in 1972, as Distributor for Browning, Hub City, Morse, and other industrial power transmission lines.
Bob Jr. Graduated
In 1956 Bob Jr. started college at the University of Florida. He graduated in the summer of 1960 with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree.
In 1971 Bob Jr. purchased the company’s outstanding stock and a year later reincorporated to drop the “welding” from the company name to better represent our increased emphasis in Mill Supplies and, new in 1972, as Distributor for Browning, Hub City, Morse, and other industrial power transmission lines.
Bob Jr. Leads the Business
Bob Jr. purchased the company's outstanding stock and changed the name of the business to reflect its growth.
In successive years, pumps and electronic controls panels were added to the company’s product mix, with pumps becoming and important growth area. With the addition of several lines of pumps, Bob Dean Supply’s six divisions were formed: Welding & Machine Shop, Power Transmission, Industrial Supply, Pump Sales, Steel Sales, and Pump Repair & Motor Rewind.
The Company Grows
More products are added to the company's stock.
In May of 1977 Bob Dean Supply opened their first branch operation in Clewiston, Florida, located on Highway 832 (Evercane Road) just east of the city.
Opened Clewiston location
In January 1983 our Motor Rewind division opened to better serve our customer base.
Motor Rewind division opens
In July 1988 we added a second branch office in Immokalee, Florida which has subsequently closed.
Opened Immokalee location (now closed)
After graduating from the University of Florida in 2004, Mr. Dean’s youngest daughter Ashley Dean joined the company. Initially her job was to create and update the website and web catalog, but she quickly joined the sales team working the Front Counter and expanding to handle all the municipal contracts and IT company wide. In 2009, Ashley received her Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida, a program designed for family businesses and entrepreneurs. From that point onward, Ashley has become an integral part of running Bob Dean Supply in the capacity of Vice President.
Ashley Dean joins the company
Bob Dean Supply celebrated 65 years of business!
Continuing with the family and company tradition of growth and expansion, Ashley opened a 3rd location of Bob Dean Supply in Tampa, Florida in the winter of 2021 in a space recently vacated by a national competitor. This expanded the firm’s geographic reach to 16 counties in Florida with daily delivery. With an eye towards growth, Ms. Dean intends on continuing the pattern of responsible stewardship and steady expansion set forth by her father.
Opened location in Tampa
In 2022 Bob Dean Supply, Inc. will celebrate its 75th anniversary.