Founded in 1973 by Phil Shallenberger and his wife Nancy, Anvil Steel was originally located in a 10,000 square foot facility in Gardena, California. Anvil began as a fabricator and erector of light structural and miscellaneous steel for the local beach communities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. Anvil’s original plant had a single overhead bridge crane and a small rail bay for ornamental work.
In 1985, with the booming southern California economy, Phil built a new 18,000 square foot crane bay with several overhead bridge cranes across the street from the original plant. Sales multiplied and the number of employees increased from 9 to 16.
In 1996 Phil decided it was time to retire and he turned the reins over to his friend Paul Schifino who bought Anvil. Like Phil, Paul wanted to keep the company focused on quality and service. He took advantage of the impeccable reputation built by Phil and expanded Anvil’s reach into the commercial market. With Paul’s leadership he expanded the company through the acquisitions of Champ Steel, Junior Steel Co. and Richwell Ironworks to not only help grow the company, but to bring in new ideas, people, and markets to Anvil. The company now has 3 fabrication plants that fabricate 750 tons of steel per week, and supplies and transports steel to all 50 states and abroad.
Wind back the clock to 1948… Junior Steel was a distributor and fabricator of Junior Beams and Channels which were manufactured by the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. When Glenn Bustrum, a WW II Vet and USC grad bought the company in 1958 he began developing the California Open Web Beam still seen all over Disneyland. For 35 years the Junior Steel Co. operated one of the largest steel fabrication / erection businesses in the Southern California area completing significant size projects like Irvine Medical Center, San Juan Capistrano Mission Church, Riverside Metro and others. In 2003, Paul Schifino bought Junior Steel and moved it to Gardena next to the Anvil Steel facility. Junior Steel’s values lie alongside Anvil’s, no matter how big or small the project, it gets the same quick and quality product. We value every customer the same, and with leadership from Junior’s key employees along with Paul, it all helps to contribute to the Junior Steel success story. To this day Gerry and Scott Bustrum are still integral contributors to the ongoing success of Junior Steel.
As the company grew it was evident expansion was inevitable. In November, 2016 Richwell Steel Co., Inc. was brought into the Junior fold.
Richwell was founded in 1947 and grew to be one of the more respected midsize steel fabricators and erectors in Southern California. The company was the main vendor for Pacific Theaters in the mid 1960s and built the world’s two largest drive-in theater screens, 90’ high x 150’ wide for Pacific Theaters in 1967. Later in their history, Richwell became the primary fabricator for AMC Theaters and was a pioneer in the development and construction of the stadium seating style theater boom in the early 2000’s. At one time Richwell had the distinction of having built the largest outdoor and indoor theaters in the world. In 2012 they built the 1st phase of the new Pier E container facility at the Port of Long Beach, fabricating and erecting 15 support structures for refrigerated container logistics. This project enabled the company to increase its property holdings which made it a perfect fit for addition into the Junior-Anvil family.
Not only did this acquisition bring new clients to Junior the added property and buildings most importantly added a facility that doubled the land and crane capacity of the Anvil plant. As a result, the ability to do more and larger projects became possible. Steve Prochnow, Nick Prochnow, Chris Prochnow and Mike Kline added over 140 cumulative years of steel fabrication experience to the Junior staff all resulting in doubling the annual volume and capability of Junior Steel.