The light bulb moment occurred when Mike Friedman ran out of space. Mike had launched a home-repair business in Portland, Me., in 2005, which, as he reports, “grew-grew-grew.
All of those self-help gurus advise us strivers to learn a new word a day. Well, today is Monday, and my new word is Kentuckiana. It’s the location of PC Home Center, based in New Albany, In.—right across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. (Get it?) “I can look out my window and see the city skyline right now,” declares owner David Stemler.
Boone Kenton Lumber & Building Supply Co., of Erlander—in business for 101 years—is the oldest enterprise in the Kentucky town and the third-oldest lumberyard in the entire state.
Back in 1904, North Side Lumber & Fuel Co. was launched to serve the building and heating needs of its Milwaukee neighbors. A young employee named J.P. Bliffert married the boss’ daughter, and, as they say, the rest is history.
This is A bro-mance now playing at a lumberyard near you—well, if you’re within viewing distance of Fargo, anyway: the same North Dakota town that lent its name to the iconic 1996 movie. LumBros Solutions is actually located in Detroit Lakes, Mn., a bedroom community, pop. 8,500, about 50 minutes east. But their reach extends with profitable daily runs to Fargo.
PMC Building Materials opened in Marietta, Ga., in 2008, just in time for the arrival of the biggest recession the country had seen in generations. To thrive, it would need a niche beyond that of a traditional full-line lumberyard. It opted to make decking its specialty, and added its first major display in early 2010.
If you haven’t heard of Shipshewana, In., in the corner of the state where it meets South Michigan, well, that makes two of us.
Jeff Sell has earned his stripes at making lemonade—although that’s one of the few items that his business, Central Lumber & Hardware, Harlowton, Mt., doesn’t sell.