Casting A Long Shadow
ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WBRC) - As we go through the peak severe weather season here in Alabama, there are a few essentials you need to stay prepared. One of those is a dependable flashlight and some of the best are built right here at Malkoff Devices in Enterprise.
Gene Malakoff explains the process, “You come in here and pick up your soldering iron and you go to work until the phone rings. You answer the phone. Then you go back to work and Kathy says come check my boxes.”
When he’s not answering the phone or helping his wife Kathy get orders ready for shipping, Gene stay busy making Mlkoffs.
“Kathy comes in there and says, ‘When’s the last time you ate?’ I say, ‘I’m busy in here get away,’ " he says with a laugh.
It all began when the Malkoffs bought some chickens explains Kathy. “Gene decided we needed some better flashlights because every time he would go out to check on the chickens his flashlight would go out. He’s a tinkerer and decided that he’s going to make his own flashlight.”
“My first couple of flashlights were made of PVC. It took me about six months of tinkering before I got a flashlight that would actually work,” recalls Gene.
Those first flashlights have spawned an entire line and Gene knows people have come to depend on their Malkoff, “If you see my name on a flashlight and it doesn’t work, if you’ll get it to me, I’ll either repair or replace it, no charge for as long as I’m here. The biggest portion of our business goes to military and law enforcement, probably 70% of it, because we build things that don’t break. I had a cop call me the other day. He said, ‘I don’t want any Disco Modes. I want it to come on when I mash the button.’”
Maybe Malkoffs can even save lives. “I got a call from a police officer he told me one of my flashlights had saved a life and I was like tell me the story.”
The officer was responding to a call of a person with a gun. Other officers were already there but their flashlights weren’t really shining a light on the situation.
Gene recounts the officer’s story, “So, he had one of my lights and pulled it out and shined it on him and it was obvious the guy had a plastic dinosaur. He felt like the guy probably would have gotten shot if it hadn’t been for having one of my lights.”
What makes a good flashlight? Gene says it should come on when you need it. So why not make it a Malkoff because as they are Absolutely Alabama.
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