First Tech celebrates 35 years with Apple

HENNEPIN AVENUE — A radio repair shop founded in 1941 has become one of the largest Apple technologyrepair businesses in the Midwest, weathering Apple’s ups and downs over the last three decades. 

First Tech is currently celebrating a 35-year partnership with Apple at 2640 Hennepin Ave., selling new  — and used — Apple gear. The office recently purchased a school district’s entire inventory of used MacBooks. 

“Every kid wants their own machine. For a lot of us, it’s not practical to buy them a shiny new MacBookPro,” said Product Manager Fred Evans, who said the age of the family computer overseen by dad is disappearing. 

“A used machine can be a lot more affordable,” he said. 

First Tech also repairs Apple products and consults with businesses on how to integrate the iPad and other technologies into an office network. 

Evans has worked at the company for 25 years. He is one of several employees with long tenure at the family-owned business, which is run by three brothers. 

“There have been good and bad times,” Evans said.

In the mid-90s, employees watched their competitors stop selling Apple computers, convinced that Apple would go out of business. But that meant plenty of Apple business was diverted to First Tech, making it an easy decision to stay loyal. 

During the technology boom and bust of 2001, the owners tightened their belts and decided against layoffs. Evans said they benefited from Apple’s philosophy to innovate and release new products throughout the recession. 

“It helped us get through some of the lean years,” he said.