The first prototypes were made in a garage in Łęczna - read about the beginnings of the RAPA company

RAPA headquarters

The first prototypes were made in a garage in Łęczna - read about the beginnings of the RAPA company

Oct 28, 2021

 

We have been designing and building cooling devices for 25 years. Of course, we would love to do a big "birthday" party on this occasion. Unfortunately, we are celebrating the jubilee in a difficult time for the world. That is why we decided to share our happiness along with some memories here. Sylwia Międlar and Ireneusz Szymański told us about the beginnings of the company. We invite you on a (slightly) sentimental journey.

 

How was the business idea born?

 

Ireneusz Szymański: It is impossible to briefly answer this question. It was almost 30 years ago, in a completely different reality. Me and my sister (Sylwia Międlar) went abroad, and we planned to stay there permanently. Our father (Tadeusz Szymański) started trading freons, filters and parts for cooling devices in Poland. It was thanks to our father that the company was founded.

 

Sylwia Międlar: Here everything started to develop and dad wanted to use this opportunity to enter the Lublin market. He asked us to come back. I was the first to arrive. I remember that day. Dad picked me up with a trailer. I had a lot of luggage because I had been living abroad for several years.

 


Sylwia Międlar - Dyrektor Zarządzająca RAPA

 

Ireneusz Szymański: Dad had experience working with refrigerating equipment. For years, he serviced devices, he also had his own workshop. He served local food companies. He was a well-known and respected expert. Regardless of what he did, he always had a reputation as a professional. He cared most about the quality of his job, because the devices were made to serve people for years. We joined it, helped to sell components for refrigerators, and over time we expanded our offer to include entire cooling devices.


Ireneusz Szymański - Dyrektor ds. Kluczowych Klientów i Zakupów

 

 

At one point, my dad "threw" the idea: "What if we produced refrigeration equipment ourselves?"

 

Sylwia Międlar: Dad is a freezer technician by profession and passion. He knew everything that was needed to start his own production. I took care of the accounting and Irek took the sale. One of such clearer memories is when Irek went to get the sheets of metal for the first time. There were 5 or 10 of them on the trailer. Later, when we contacted the steel mill directly to buy it cheaper, they told us that we had to order a minimum of a ton. Back then it was a huge amount for us. Today, such orders no longer surprise anyone.

 

Ireneusz Szymański: When we started production, we also bought the first machines: a guillotine and a bending machine. Two of the oldest ones are still in the production hall. We started without a stove, we commissioned the painting of the housings to a neighboring company. Later, we also bought a furnace, as production and sales were getting better and better.

We changed our address 3 times in total. We needed more and more space and so "landed" on Ceramiczna.

 


Sylwia Szymańska - Dyrektor HR i Krzysztof Międlar - Dyrektor Marketingu i Sprzedaży Zagranicznej

 

 

The design was created in our dad's mind

 

Sylwia Międlar: The first prototypes were made in the garage of our home. Dad designed them himself. I remember that at the very beginning he created counters without storage boxes. The ones that are now so fashionable and in demand. Only almost 30 years ago, no one wanted such devices. Customers were looking for what they were used to, i.e. large counters with storage facilities that we have on offer until today.

 

Ireneusz Szymański: Dad designed one more element of our company, apart from the devices. Our first logo is his authorship. The name too. It came from the combination of the grandsons' names: Rafał and Patryk. The third generation, which was to take over and develop the company.

 


Rafał Międlar - Dyrektor Badań i Rozwoju

 

 

The first employees also appeared

 

Sylwia Międlar: We had machines, a hall, and we started hiring people. The oldest are: Mariusz, Marcin, Andrzej and Sławek. Later, of course, Paweł, Jan, Tomek, soon other people appeared. We’re happy to say that hey are sill with us. They remember renovations, demolishing walls, because they took part in it. They built the company with us. Of course, there were also parties (apart from work), for example "housewarming" after moving. Mariusz became my dad's right hand, they understood each other without words when it comes to constructing devices.

Sylwia, Irek's wife, also joined the team, introducing the company's first computer for accounting purposes. We didn't have design software. The drawings for the instructions were made by hand, and the instructions were printed at the office.

 

The devices were still designed by my dad. He would draw his ideas, sometimes at night, when a solution had come to his mind. He showed it to us, selected it, combined elements and perfected it. Production later verified the possibilities and introduced changes. 

 

Ireneusz Szymański:  We had our own way of doing it. We put ourselves in the role of a client. We checked what bothers us and makes our work difficult. We combined every detail to serve something. Our storages were not to cut your hands, and the devices were to be easy to clean. Many of our "enhancements" take a little more work, but they really affect how you work with your device later on.

 

Sylwia Międlar: The team grew, and more people appeared with whom we shared our duties. Our work consumed our time almost entirely. At some point, Rafał, a representative of the third generation, joined us. He has a slightly different view of the company, its image. Dad, in turn, has more free time, but still shows up at the company.

 

Years later, we know that the company is made up of the people who create it. That is why we are so happy with what we have managed to build a team. Of course, we want to develop further. We hope that we will celebrate the next jubilee with a bang.



 

The jubilee is an occasion to thank you. Our clients, business partners, friends and employees. Thank you f or being and working with us. We are counting on the next joint years.

 

 

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