Kolker enjoys transition from deli food to fans


Larry Kolker, 63, went from selling deli sandwiches to ceiling fans.

He used to own a local deli restaurant called Posh Nosh, located in Clayton. Before that he worked for a local hardware store.

Roughly one year ago, he became the proud owner of Dan’s Fan City, located on Manchester Road in Ellisville, He still owns the establishment today.

“Dan’s Fan City is like a Build-a-Bear, but for ceiling fans,” Kolker said. “We build things. It’s fun because you can pick out the size of the motor, the color of the fan and the blades. It’s more than just walking in and picking a fan off the ceiling and saying ‘that’s what I want.’ It’s a lot of communicating with the customer, trying to pick their brain and figure out exactly what they’re looking for.”

Kolker has had experience in the sales business all his life, which is one reason why he’s so successful and enjoys his work so much. He said he learned good business from his parents, who owned a deli when he was younger.

“I was interested in Dan’s Fan City because of its quality merchandise,” Kolker said. “I couldn’t retire so I had to find something to do instead of playing golf or gambling.”

When he’s not working, Kolker enjoys being with his family.

He is married with two grown sons, one of whom lives in St. Louis. His other son lives in Colorado. He also has twin granddaughters who are 9.

His wife, Joyce, said he is an ordinary man without many hobbies and is a good person.

“He’s somewhat of a workaholic, but not totally,” Joyce said. “Whatever job he’s doing he really puts 110 percent into it.”

What Kolker misses the most about his old business at Posh Nosh is the people.

“It was a fun business,” Kolker said. “You’re interacting with people a little different than with the fan business.”

Yet at Dan’s Fan City, he said he doesn’t have to worry as much if people don’t show up to work because the business is smaller and there are fewer workers.

“It’s enjoyable to talk to people, which is really all it comes down to,” Kolker said. “You’re not just selling a ceiling fan, you’re selling yourself. Once they get the trust built in, they know you’re selling quality products.”