Some Background Information
Midwest Exchange was started by Wes Lane and his junior partner Rich Davis in 1990. Davis left Midwest in 1997 to start his own pawnshop. Midwest Exchange had been a long time in the making though. It was back in 1972 when Wes Lane started selling collectibles out of his house in the "Antique trader" magazine. In 1975 he widened his scope to include collectible guns. In late 1979 he went and built his first gun shop from the ground up in Pontiac, Illinois. After the first few years in business Wes came to the realization that it was not profitable to operate a gunshop as just that; and he decided to expand into the pawn business in late 1981. He began buying and reselling 8 track tapes, record albums, and many other used but sought after items.
Happy, but not satisfied with his success with Pontiac Exchange, Wes sought to expand his territory. He opened Midwest in its first location, Towanda Plaza, in 1990. Soon after they hired their first employee, Chris Ahillen. Tragedy struck in June of 1991 as the entire plaza that Midwest Exchange was housed in was reduced to smoldering ash. Much of the merchandise was lost (but fortunately none of the customers jewelry was, that was saved by the fire safe), and Wes, Rich, and Chris were at a loss as where to begin. The Hampton Inn, offered rooms gratis to be used as office space for all of the businesses that were destroyed in the blaze. Midwest quickly set up shop and began taking care of its customers regarding their losses. Then they began looking for a new location.
A few months later Midwest reopened in their current location at 512 IAA Drive. Since then, they have grown to a staff of 10 employees. Most of Midwest's employees have stuck around, as there is a low employee turnover rate. It takes a long time to train an employee, and Midwest Exchange likes to make sure they stick around. This also creates employees who are not only knowledgeable in the many types of items they deal with each day, but they also develop expert skills in the areas that interests them most.
Of course over the years Midwest has lost several of their best employees that have ventured out on their own and have been successful by implementing the skills that they learned at Midwest Exchange, and that's fine. There are no hard feelings, in fact there is some pride, nothing's wrong with some good 'honest' competition ;-)
It should also be mentioned that over the years, Midwest Exchange has produced some of the most talked about tv commercials in the area. In fact, it is safe to say we have made some locals 'celebrities' thru our advertising. When you have the time please check out the videos portion of the website.
Want to talk to us?
Email us at Midwestxchange@superfastcash.com