#BRILLIANT
Schneitter Fireworks

June 30, 2020

Written by Emily Baumann | Photography by Emily Baumann and submitted

CHARACTER TRAIT: Brilliant

DEFINITION: Very bright, striking, distinctive.

St. Joseph is home to many legacies of uncommon character…but we guarantee that this story will shock and awe you!

The first spark of business for Schneitter fireworks was in 1895 when serial entrepreneur H.E. (Henry) Schneitter got his hands on samples of imported fireworks. He was never one to let an opportunity pass him by…after diving into the local economy with endeavors like Schneitter Radio Company, Schneitter Sporting Goods, and Schneitter Lumber…he was ready for his next big thing. Henry took those samples and sold them out of the back of his car, little did he know he was setting off a chain reaction that would lead to his most successful business venture. This year, 2020, is their 125th anniversary and they couldn’t be more excited about their history and the community of St. Joseph which has allowed them to continue to grow and put down their roots.

“With 125 years of making memories with families in the area the word of mouth is the best advertising money cannot buy and is so much more than the Fourth of July! From weddings, gender reveals, funerals, memorials, ball games, other holidays and more, we love being a part of so many family traditions and memories.” – Stacy Schneitter Blake

Their first location was in downtown St. Joseph, and they have stayed close to home ever since, expanding and moving as demand grew over the next century. One of the most uncommon aspects of their business is it has stayed in the family passed down from H.E. to his descendants. Currently owned by his great-granddaughters Stacy (Schneitter) Blake and Tracy (Schneitter) Siewert it is uniquely one of the very few fireworks importing companies owned and operated by women.

Schneitter Fireworks has grown beyond their humble beginnings in the back of a car, with a large retail location located just north of St. Joseph at 12801 Co Rd 352 ready to serve the needs of the community. But they are booming in more ways than just getting us ready for our annual Independence Day celebrations. They are also an active importer of fireworks…making everything from small sales operations to professional displays happen across the country. The central location of St. Joseph strategically allows them to distribute their products far and wide. Another point of pride is their relationship with international suppliers, which allows them to create their own custom brands of fireworks including a limited edition to celebrate their 125th anniversary.

The Schneitter family feels right at home in St. Joseph, “St. Joseph is on the verge of a renaissance of types, and we want to help make an impact to make this city prosper and grow, for our children, and their children, and the community as a whole,” says Stacy.

It’s their mission to help families make memories through fireworks, generation after generation.

Need to get your hands on the good stuff for the Fourth or for any of your upcoming celebrations? You’re in luck because Schneitter Fireworks is open all year long, with longer seasonal hours during the days leading up to July 4th and New Years. While they might be 125 years old, they are continuing to evolve their business model and are now offering online sales on their website and provide curbside pick-up of online orders.

#ESTABLISHED

When visitors and locals visit historic Hall Street in St. Joseph, they usually look up. A lot. And then they stop and stare. They take pictures and walk very slowly. They usually return, because this neighborhood known as “Millionaire’s Row” tells the story of St. Joseph’s turn-of-the century wealth and opulence like nothing else.

#SCENIC

In addition to its paved walking paths, the Parkway features miles of rugged biking and hiking trails and serves as a red carpet to some of St. Joseph’s most interesting places.

#POWERFUL

More than a decade of service later, the program continues to grow. Most of the kids who live in this St. Joseph neighborhood receive free or reduced priced breakfast and lunch during the school year, but have limited food resources in the summer. 

#SCRUMPTIOUS

When it comes to home-cooked breakfast and lunch, you get it Betty’s way. Or you don’t get the darn thing at all.

#DELECTABLE

When it’s time for a coffee fix, St. Joseph’s options range from the eclectic to the trendy to the fast and familiar. The coffee culture in St. Joseph continues to expand and thrive, fueled by historic roasters, young entrepreneurs and locals who want to open the doors to a comfortable piece of the city’s relaxed vibe.