This isn’t going to be one of those “beloved, third-generation hometown yard builds on its legacy” stories. Nope. McCabe Lumber, of Lovelace, Oh.—20 miles from the Cincinnati metro area and serving Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana as well—didn’t even exist in the 20th century. Today, it’s a blockbuster, both in market share and innovation.
In May 1951, young Robert Arnold, fresh from college, snagged his first job, working for his stepmom’s boss. That job was selling feed in upstate New York in a small town called Malone. But that didn’t last long. The older gent was in a hurry to retire. He approached the Arnolds. Young Bob voted “no.” His dad, however, voted “yes”—and “yes” prevailed. Ironically, Dad passed away two years later, leaving Bob to run the show.
What do you get when you plant a lumber company named Lacrosse (a town on Wisconsin’s bank of the Mississippi) into a community called Louisiana?
When Mike MacKay mentions that personnel are treated “like family,” he’s not just blowing smoke. Some of them actually are family: his wife, Brenda, works in the back office and recently their son jumped into the family business. All of which reinforces Mike’s love of the community and Vassar Building Center’s place in it.
Why do the locals like shopping here? “Customer service is number one. So is quality. Believe me,” both swear, “they come in informed. They’ve already checked everything online.”
Our best customers come via word of mouth—brothers, sisters, neighbors. We’re building second, and third, homes for some of these people. We keep them happy.