Starbuck General Insurance is a family business which goes back to 1972. At that time Mr. Robert Glasman, the insurance agent at Starbuck, Manitoba, indicated to Tom Wishart that he was ready to retire. He asked Tom, the long-time manager of the Starbuck Credit Union, for advice in finding a suitable person to pass on his business.
Tom turned to Matt and Anne Ullenboom. Matt had been a board member in both, the Credit Union and the local Co-op, and Anne had worked as teller in the Credit Union. Tom suggested that, with their years of business training in Germany before coming to Canada, and being involved with the public here, they would have a strong chance of making a success of the venture. The Credit Union offered to provide the necessary capital and so it was decided to go ahead with the deal.
On August 1, 1972 Matt and Anne bought the insurance agency from Robert Glasman. The agency was registered under the name of ‘Starbuck General Insurance’. It was sponsored by the Portage Mutual Insurance Company and sold mainly Home and Farm insurance. In February the following year it was also able to offer auto insurance (Autopac) as well as vehicle licensing and driver licence renewals, which was under the jurisdiction of the Manitoba Provincial Government.
The first few years business was conducted mainly from the farm home, except for the busy Autopac month of February, when arrangements were made for office space in town to better serve the customers.
When Matt passed away in 1984, Anne persevered alone for a while. The business had grown considerably, and in May 1985 Ray Ullenboom, the oldest son, joined Anne in the venture. A regular office space was rented in the Credit Union building on Main Street in Starbuck. In October 1995 Ray’s brother, Frank Ullenboom, was welcomed to be part of the firm. Eventually more space was needed and a small office building was moved in across the street. In February 2005 Anne decided to retire, after thirty years of serving the community she loved.
Today, Ray and Frank are ably assisted by Shirley Kuentzle who joined the firm in 2007 and Kathy Rathert, who has been with us since 2014.