Aitkin Rental expands sales to help share theme of ‘do what you love’

Showing off the adult tricycles they have for rent, employees at Aitkin Rental are – (from left) owners Alan Monroe (holding dog, Billy) and Penny Harms Monroe, Jon Abear (mechanic) and Jody Studniski (general manager). Behind them are the landscaping materials now available for sale.

While Aitkin Rental has been around for three decades, owners Alan Monroe and Penny Harms Monroe are excited about the new changes they are offering.

The couple has owned Aitkin Rental – located at 1068 Air Park Dr., Aitkin – since 2015, just starting their seventh year in April.

They are the fourth owners. The couple has worked hard to bring the business back to where it was in the 1990s and early 2000s under original owners Vern and Terry Watters.

“Everyone always makes the comment, ‘do what you love,’” said Alan. “We try to carry the things we enjoy, in hopes other people who enjoy the same will shop here.”

This year, Aitkin Rental has expanded its landscaping options. That includes rocks, paver blocks, retaining wall blocks and landscaping materials.

“My wife has been a gardener her whole life,” Alan explained, saying Penny has put in tiered gardens everywhere she has lived. The couple decided to share those gardening supplies and options.

They won’t compete with The Green House in Aitkin, Alan said, but the supplies serve to compliment the plants people purchase there so they can finish outdoor projects.

Alan said that they purchased a landscaping business out of Garrison not long after purchasing Aitkin Rental in 2015. In the last year, though, with COVID-19 opening up more time at home for people, they had trouble keeping up with demand.

This year, Aitkin Rental expanded that part of the business.

Aitkin Rental is also offering Green Mountain pellet grills and smokers, as well as the Solo Stove outdoor smokeless fire pits. They carry 25 varieties of cooking pellets and in the winter carry Indeck brand wood heating pellets.

The business also now offers pool and hot tub supplies – both luxuries Alan and Penny enjoy.

“We just tried to pick things we enjoy outside of the business and add it to our business,” Alan said. “We were trying to find stuff that no one else in Aitkin had, and keep people shopping in Aitkin, not Brainerd.”

This year, Aitkin Rental has also added Jon Abear, a mechanic who has run his own small-engine repair business for 11 years.

“We are proud to now offer small-engine tune-ups and repairs for any small engine,” Alan said.

Aitkin Rental is still offering its usual list of rentals, including lawn and garden and excavating equipment, as well as party rentals and supplies.

“That has all pretty much stayed the same,” said Penny. The business does have items like four adult tricycles as well as an inflatable bouncy house and an inflatable obstacle course.

They also have glassware and dinnerware available to rent for large parties, and are open to purchasing new items for rental if they think they will be widely used in the future.

The business is open for summer hours from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays from 8 a.m.-noon.

For more information, call 218-927-6907, or go to aitkinrental.com.

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