Meet your merchant: Maxx and Kimberly Hermann in the business of making parties stress free
SRC Party Rentals & Supplies
Party Equipment Rental Service
691 Maltman Dr., Grass Valley
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Maxx Hermann was a junior at Nevada Union High School when he landed his first job ever at SRC Party Rentals & Supplies in Grass Valley.
Owners Diane and Mike Buettner were close family friends, which gave Maxx an instant “in.” But his hard work and attention to detail quickly proved that he would become a valued employee. That’s why the Buettners were sad to see him go when he moved south to earn degrees in anthropology and business management at California State University, San Marcos.
A Nevada County native, Maxx was inspired by the diversity of Southern California and the various cultures he studied in his anthropology classes. After college, he moved to San Diego, where he met his future wife, Kimberly.
“Once we started talking about raising a family, we began to think about moving back to Nevada County,” said Maxx. “Once you move away you begin to realize everything you had. I missed the trees and lakes and everything that makes Nevada County so special. But we had to figure out how we were going to make a living.”
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Timing was on the Hermanns’ side, as the Buettners were ready to retire and sell SRC Party Rentals & Supplies.
“Kimberly and I were in the right place at the right time,” said Maxx. “We started training with Mike and Diane in September of 2015 to learn the ropes, then officially took over on Jan. 1 of 2016.”
It was a good fit. While Maxx took over managing employees, scheduling and deliveries, Kimberly managed the retail side, including inventory, bookkeeping and payroll. They also made a point to cross-train — so they both knew everything about the business.
“We didn’t make a big announcement when we took over,” said Maxx. “But we’ve made it our mission to stay relevant, bring in new ideas and branch out by going to different trade shows.”
But for the most part the Hermanns inherited a longtime coveted niche, as they are the go-to business when it comes to party rental equipment, such as chairs, tables, dishes, barbecues, umbrellas, fountains, wedding accessories, bars, a margarita machine, a snow-cone maker, heaters, disco balls, patio lights, wedding arbors, concession stands for hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy — and much more. With commercial sanitizers located right in the warehouse, customers don’t even have to return clean dishes. They’re just packed up and returned by SRC Party Rentals staff.
“Yes, I have been known to do dishes,” said Maxx, with a laugh.
Last year the Hermanns also added a popular new category: games. Corn Hole and a giant outdoor Jenga game are among those in high demand, said Maxx.
On the shelves of the retail section are a broad selection of party accessories, such as balloons, banners, doilies, hats, horns, piñatas, placemats, streamers, rolls of tickets for raffles and more.
Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holiday parties, bar mitzvahs or quinceañeras — the store has accessories for a broad number of themes. While large events are routine, many smaller orders tend to come in during the holidays, such as tables and settings for 10 for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Over Christmas the company can expect as many as 60 to 80 orders of 10 plates and glasses at the same time, added Maxx. In the summer, their massive inventory enables them to accommodate 10 to 15 weddings — each with 200-plus guests — on the same weekend.
“Our goal is to make our customers’ events stress free,” said Maxx. “I can see the look of relief in their eyes once I guide them through the process and they see how many responsibilities they can hand over to us.”
There are five employees on staff, not including the Hermanns, with Jason Graham recently promoted to manager. This is a welcome new development, said Maxx, as he and Kimberly are expecting their second child in April. Their daughter, Hazelmae, is 2.
“We feel fortunate to do what we do,” said Maxx. “It’s rewarding when people send us thank you cards, telling us they appreciated not having to worry about all the party details — that they actually got to enjoy themselves.”
To Contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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