At Bakken-Young Funeral Services and Cremation, the team strives to deliver a quality of service that is truly unmatched. Each and every funeral and memorial service is a tribute to a life well lived. With that approach to business, it’s no surprise that the collection of Wisconsin funeral homes has found and maintained success.
Bakken-Young Funeral and Cremation Services is owned by the husband and wife team Jodie Bakken-Young and Brian Young. Jodie is a licensed funeral director in Wisconsin and Minnesota and she graduated from the University of Minnesota. Jodie met Brian, her future husband and business partner, working at a funeral home in the twin cities. Jodie takes great pride in her funeral homes and the services they provide when families are in need.
Brian graduated from the University of Minnesota and is a licensed funeral director in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Since, 2004, Brian has also been a licensed insurance agent for pre-funding funeral trusts. He is a detail orientated person and a firm believer that funeral service is about paying attention to the details for each particular family.
The pair have successfully owned and operated Bakken-Young Inc. together since 1999. Brian and Jodie did not come from funeral home families so starting the business was a true test of their dedication to the industry.
“We didn’t just choose this industry, it chose us too. We knew some people in this line of work who suggested we look into it and then we both decided to pursue it. Being in the business of helping people was where we are both meant to be,” explains Brian.
After realizing the funeral industry was right for them, Jodie and Brian purchased four funeral homes in Wisconsin in 1999 and a fifth funeral home in 2008 under the Bakken-Young brand.
In order to create a successful funeral home, Brian and Jodie had to treat the business like a start-up. When they first started, the husband and wife team didn’t have years of contacts built up like many family owned and operated funeral homes have, so they really had to hit the ground running and then stay ahead of the curve.
Bakken-Young Funeral and Cremation Services has had a website for over 16 years and they have kept it fresh, modern and up to date as the years have gone by. The website offers a lot of features other funeral homes may not. The site offers a place to watch the memorial videos the funeral home creates for families, updated obituaries, grief support and much more. In addition to great website, the Wisconsin funeral homes utilize modern technology throughout each location, even in the day to day tasks with families.
“Since 2006 we have done away with paper when meeting with families and instead we use computers, flat screen TVs, and software that captures information quickly and efficiently,” says Brian. “Families are watching us input data into our programs in real time when we meet with them,” adds Jodie. This method leaves little room for possible errors, is fast and efficient, and pushes the Wisconsin funeral home into the 21st century. Bakken-Young Funeral and Cremation Services can also be found and followed on Facebook and Twitter.
Part way into the year 2000, Bakken-Young first heard about the company BerylMartin, and they were immediately impressed and experienced great results. BerlyMartin is an art, design, and digital print studio that is committed to creating ideas that promote, inform, educate, comfort and celebrate life. BerylMartin understands that the loss of a loved one is never easy; and their goal is to create beautiful tributes that will highlight the energy, life, and connections had with lost loved ones.
“Since 2001, BerylMartin has been handling all of our memorial cards, prayer cards, bulletins, tributes, and all other printed material we may need. We could not be more impressed. The people behind the company make it great and have always been exceptional. From customer service to graphic arts, they blow us away,” says Brian.
“Their company is honestly outstanding. The custom creations that they make in honor of remembering someone, which they turn around in just 24 hours, are amazing. They do such a great job, and that’s why we’ve stuck with them all these years,” adds Jodie.
In addition to staying up to date with technology and working alongside great companies, Bakken-Young has found success comes from the little things as well. Jodie, Brian and their staff work hard at what they do every single day. By paying attention to detail in all aspects of the business, they have been able to make a name for themselves. Both Jodie and Brian are very hands on in the day to day duties of their business. They care deeply about each person that calls or walks in the door and are passionate about what they do. This kind of commitment has kept them on a steady path to success since the day they opened their doors.
“Paying personal attention to every detail and being hands on allows us to properly follow through with each family and make difficult times a little bit easier. One or both of us is always available to help. Our overall success is rooted in the fact that we are very hands on,” explains Jodie.
In today’s industry, some funeral homes may find themselves struggling. Brian and Jodie suggest digging deep into yourself and pushing, not only yourself, but your staff to be the best that they can be each and every day as well. When you have tough competition, consistent passion is what truly sets funeral homes apart from each other.
“If you work harder and better in all aspects of the job than your competition, people will see that, and they will respect it. You have to be in this industry for the right reasons, and the rest will take care of itself,” says Brian.
Beyond their dedication to the Bakken-Young Funeral and Cremation Services, Jodie and Brian are both Rotarians, members of the Chamber of Commerce in their area, active members of the local church, and volunteer for numerous boards and fundraising events throughout the year. The husband and wife team loves to keep busy in the community they serve and are passionate about helping others in any way they can. Service is a huge part of Brian and Jodie’s life and is the backbone of Bakken-Young brand.
“This business and industry is all about service. And that’s exactly what we strive to do each day. We aim to provide the best service we possibly can for the families in our community,” explains Jodie.
Looking forward to the future, one thing is clear – the Jodie, Brian, and the Bakken-Young brand will continue to thrive in Wisconsin. Armed with the right technology, dedicated staff, great community relationships, passion, and a dedication to detail– it’s clear that Bakken-Young Funeral Homes have developed a great recipe for success.
“No one knows what lies ahead, but we have always been good at trying things outside our comfort zone and that keeps us ahead of the curve. You can’t be afraid to try new thing in this industry, it will hold you back,” explains Jodie. FBA