The Story Of JUCAJUCA didn't come into existence with the usual profit-making motives. The first JUCA was invented in 1973 to heat a single 2400 square foot 3-story farmhouse which was built in 1895 and was un-insulated. LP gas was being used at a horrendous rate to heat only about one-third of the house.
The owner happened to be a Nuclear Physicist and he often walked in the 12 acres of woods on the property and saw all the deadfall rotting and going to waste. He eventually designed a woodburning free-standing fireplace with glass on three sides and a super extensive and sophisticated heat exchanger.
This design stage was extensive. He decided to use that high-powered Physics degree to create the highest efficiency woodburner he could. Thermo-dynamics, aerodynamics, and many other advanced disciplines were applied. Since this was before home computers, and the equations were "resistant to solution", it took him 57 sheets of calculations from equations to answer! (See Entry GENERAL/TECHNICAL/314 to see the equations)
At the time, available woodburners had about 25% overall efficiency; fireplaces 0-12%. The solved equations suggested about 81% for the proposed design.
He was distressed. OBVIOUSLY, a mathematical error had been made. BUT WHERE?? After staring at the spread out sheets for a while, he concluded that it would be simpler just to build it than to find the error.
He bought scrap steel, learned how to weld, and built the first (and only??) JUCA.
He had no intention of starting a business. Teaching was a fine occupation.
But people soon found out about his woodburner which could now totally heat one of the largest houses in the county, where the gas furnace couldn't. Some people were so persistent and aggressive that he built a few duplicates in a chicken shed on the farm, primarily so they would quit pestering him. People found out about THOSE and the dance began.
Within 1 1/2 years, JUCA had thirty employees working 'round the clock and was 16 weeks behind on filling orders. All without ever advertising and without even a sign to help people find the building in a desolate rural area. The original owner finally conceded that a business existed. (As many as 85 employees were involved a year later)
He decided to just provide a service and filed with Indiana as a Non-Profit Corporation. The state said that Non-Profit and Manufacturing were mutually exclusive and denied the application. So JUCA became a regular corporation.
Gradually, other styles and models of JUCAs joined the team.
A really unique environment developed. JUCA employees and JUCA customers developed an amazingly close relationship. Even though time and distance have intruded, many strong bonds of friendship still exist. Those owners KNOW that JUCA really cared about their well-being and they appreciate it. Over the years, those owners have told neighbors about JUCA and some have even asked to become JUCA dealers to help their neighbors get access to these unusual products. It's been wonderful! This scenario of almost exclusively word-of-mouth advertising has made normal (expensive) advertising unnecessary so we've been able to keep prices down for our friends ... and their friends.
Even when a customer elects not to get a JUCA product, we still try to be helpful. In many cases, we can get competing products at a discount so the customer saves money EVEN ON THE COMPETITION! We've helped people get new super-efficient gas furnaces, Air Conditioning systems, Kitchen woodburning Cookstoves, pellet and corn burners and even pellets, all at various discounts.
In case you're interested, the name JUCA are (mostly) parts of the original designer's first and last names. When this unique name was created, there was some concern that maybe it was a "bad" word in some other language, so that was researched into in several libraries. Apparently, it isn't!
What a weird company. More interested in pleasing a customer than being focused on the bottom line. In recent years, this has blossomed into the Customization of modern JUCA. JUCA would rather go to extra trouble to make an unusual custom unit for a customer's unique situation rather than make the customer tolerate "standard" products.
You could capsulize it by saying that the JUCA attitude is that there are more important things in life than money and material possessions. We think that MORE companies should have that attitude.
We just really care.