Quality, Pride and Small Town Values

Merritt Manning
Merritt Manning

When the late Merritt Manning started building his service station in 1948, he couldn’t have imagined how the business would change over 75 years. Originally, Manning’s sold gasoline, new and used cars and performed mechanical repairs on cars and farm equipment. It became a family affair when his brother, Bob, joined him in the Randolph County business as a mechanic until his death in 1977.

Merritt’s oldest Son, Miles, worked here from 1973-88. Then Jeff came to the business in 1978 to present. The auto repair business started declining after Bob passed away and new technology was beginning. Merritt passed away in 1995 and now Jeff is running the business. Expanding into kerosene heaters and repair. Manning’s has sold and serviced kerosene heaters for more than 40 years. Manning’s acquired Lifestyle Distributors and the Northern Light Wick Co. Manning’s “MSI Wicks and Heaters” is now one of the largest wholesale and retail sellers of kerosene heaters and wicks in the United States.

In the 1990’s when the web was becoming popular, Jeff noticed that no one was selling heaters and wicks on the Internet. So he created his own site www.manningservice.com.

What started as a 1-page site has expanded to several pages with a catalog of kerosene heaters, wicks, accessories and answers to FAQ’s about heaters and maintenance. Technology has helped keep the business open. The Internet gets us out of Saratoga (Pop 200+) for sales to hundreds of dealers and thousands of customers around the world.

We have shipped our products to places as far away as China, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Canada, Poland, Italy and New Caledonia. It’s always cold somewhere around the world.

Mannings also installed sunroofs, custom graphics and tints automotive, residential and commercial windows. Jeff Manning is a Certified Sunroof Installer from the Stretchform Corp. and has over 300 installations to his credit.

Fireworks have always been a big seasonal item at Manning’s. Now the largest Fireworks dealer in Randolph County and the surrounding areas. Stocking hundreds of items from sparklers to large aerial shells and rockets. A huge selection and low prices has created a strong repeat customer base for people wanting to celebrate the Fourth of July with the best fireworks they can buy.

Manning’s also has expanded over the recent years to sell Hunt Brothers pizza, subs, Hoosier Lottery, tobacco, pop, candy and groceries at the local store. Manning’s latest project is the construction of self-storage building and has 20 rooms to rent.

Mannings is changing again. We are now the only national parts supplier for the famous Kerosun and Toyostove portable kerosene heaters. We bought all the remaining parts and wicks from the Toyostove warehouse in CT. If you need anything for your kerosene heater, please contact us and see if we have what you are looking for.

Mannings has also become a Village Post Office. That means we house all the postal boxes that your mail is delivered to. We are open many more hours than the current Post Office, so it is more convenient to the local patrons.