Thursday Doors – Kelly Fradet Too

Welcome to Kelly-Fradet

One of my early Thursday Doors was of Kelly Fradet’s lumber yard on the east side of Enfield. They have four different locations, but the main yard is on the west side of town, near the river and the railroad. They still get shipments of lumber and other building material by rail. Sometimes, when you buy something at one store, they give you three options” pick it up at the main yard, wait for it to be transferred to your store or have it delivered. I almost always opt to pick it up, because I love going to the main yard.

The history of Kelly-Fradet starts a few years before my history starts. According to their website:

In 1951, Clarence “Red” Weeks and Lloyd Fradet began the Kelly-Fradet legacy by purchasing the Carmel Lumber Company in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Their goal was to provide the building industry with the best products and, more importantly, the most dependable, knowledgeable service available.

That last sentence is the reason I keep going back.

When I was a kid growing up near Pittsburgh, the place that that paragraph could describe was Silhol Lumber in Bridgeville, PA. Silhol was formed in 1945. The similarities between these two companies is more than them having formed around the same time, they have a similar approach to business. When I walk into Kelly-Fradet, it feels like when I went with my father to Silhol’s. I think they both understand the following statement by Red Weeks, co-founder of Kelly-Fradet”

Any business is a people business. It’s the families who work for Kelly-Fradet, and the customers who purchase from us, that create the foundation to our success!

The big-boxes have driven most local lumber yards out of business. There’s something special about the few that survive.

If you want to explore my doors, click on any door and start a slide show.

Thursday Doors is a weekly blog dance choreographed by Norm Frampton. If you want to join the troupe, chasse over to Norm’s place. Perform a heel turn and look around at Norm’s doors. Look for the blue frog. With a quick inside partner step, click on that tadpole and enter the main stage.

67 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Kelly Fradet Too

Add yours

  1. I can picture you with a smile in your heart heading off to the lumber yard :)
    For me it would be the feeling of a new project about to begin.
    This isn’t the kind of building I would expect from a lumber yard. I guess I’m used to the windowless boxes. All those windows makes it look inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember the stuff they would have up on the 2nd floor, hardwood lumber, nails, special items, so much fun to explore. They didn’t have a lot of lights up there, so I think the windows were important. These buildings have so much character. The big boxes got nothin but product.

      Like

  2. I imagine you love the lumber yard as much as I love walking through a greenhouse. It’s our happy places. I’m wondering how the “upper door” is used since it appears too high for the delivery truck and the reason for the skinny door. Has me scratching my head…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These places are my happy place. The upper floor in some yards is used to store long lengths of special lumber, cedar, redwood, hardwoods. I’ve gone when they lowered 16′ pieces of lumber down through those doors. The Skinny door is the one that can be opened from the outside for people, when they want to keep the opening closed. Hope that resolves the itch :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am going to guess the Carmel Lumber company which was bought out used some of the buildings for horse stables and some of those upper doors were for moving hay. Some of the technology keeps changing. Horse and wagon is technology ? uh-huh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Horse and wagon was reliable technology in its time, John. I’m old enough to remember when the family car wasn’t always as reliable as your average horse – my dad had a Rambler American with a manual choke, vacuum driven wipers and a carburetor that defied logic and engineering.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s so good to see old family businesses still thriving in the competitive market today. I like that statement; “Any business is a people business. It’s the families who work for Kelly-Fradet, and the customers who purchase from us, that create the foundation to our success!” If only more businesses went by that. Nice post and photos, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jean. I think that’s the key to survival. I don’t even think about the small amount of money I could save by going to the big box, doing all the work myself and getting a lower quality product.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan, this sounds like a great place and as you say, dependable, knowledgeable, and, I imagine, friendly service is at a premium these days. It’s also an attractive place, so it’s a win-win. I bet you feel there much as I do in a bookstore. :-)

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right Janet. I could hang out there all day. The people are super friendly, and very helpful. And, when you’re buying a pile of lumber for a large project, they’re cheaper than the big box.

      Like

  6. It really is an attractive building. The doors are phenomenal. So much detail. Love the angle you got of the double doors. Great texture.
    I don’t get to the independent lumber yards. I went to one, once, years ago. Apparently I am not the kind of people they’re looking for. To be honest, I’m ready for a female owned and operated lumber yard/ hardware store.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My daughter, who knows how to do most of this work, and understands the language, has the same problem. She’s pretty bold about explaining that she knows what she’s doing, but she still has people looking around for her husband. It’s sad. We should really be encouraging women in all there areas.

      Anyway, I’m glad you like the building and the doors.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post Dan – Oh the fun I could have in this place!
    It’s sad how the small family-run places are being squeezed out by the Big Boxes. Sadder still is the whole generation of people who won`t even know enough to miss them when they’re all gone :-(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norm. To a large extend, we are that generation. Very few of my friends and coworkers would know what to do in a lumber yard, or with any of the products they could buy there. My daughter is trying to learn as much as she can, instruction and hands on, but there are very few people, men or women, in her generation that have an active interest.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My favorite lumber yard for hardwood lumber for furniture projects just closed. It was less than 3 miles from Home Depot and Lowes and it just couldn’t compete, despite prices that were almost as good and quality that was far superior. When we did the addition on our house, Kelly-Fradet talked me into better quality material on the two most expensive items (roof rafters and sheathing), and still beat Home Depot’s quote by 25%!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So true, the kind of service a company/store has, makes one keep coming back! Love the red siding in one of your smaller images (siding is particularly “American” – that is not seen in W- Eur. Actually, anything of wood is only in the interior of a building)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. More good pics, Dan. Lumber yards make me think of being a kid around my maternal grandfather, who was an electrician and a total DIY guy. To this day, the smell of sawdust and creosote makes me think of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like places which are quality driven, customer first (love their interest in your renovation plans, Dan!) and which hire knowledgeable clerks. I like our local Hardware Exchange much better than Ace or other name brand stores. I’m pretty sure you know it is a great place when there are a bunch of elderly customers! They are sometimes “shooting the breeze” here but give their honest opinions on projects or the smallest item your looking for, nothing’s boring in this building! The dock is high up, not sure if they sell wood but on the second floor, they hold an annual pancake fundraising event. The recipient of the fundraiser is given in posters and always a fair price for the tasty meal, too. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those places are part of the community. The owners and employees understand what that means. It feels good to know you can go there and get help as well as the stuff you need. I hope they all survive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a little bit adept, having two brothers and a Dad who liked us to do projects. We learned how to help build treehouses with trap doors in them where two adults could sleep on the floor in them. We liked even as teens to climb up in the last one we helped build in our backyard. Don’t forget my Dad had basically no childhood so he was all about giving us all the “activities” he missed out on. Not “things” since we each had to earn our musical instruments and bicycles. . .

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I am glad you see this bigger picture to my Dad’s way of parenting.
            This sounds like a wonderful parenting philosophy, Dan. I believe he was trying his very best You have this technique “down pat!”

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post, Dan. You are so correct in giving thanks to hardware stores that always give great customer service; taking on DIY projects is always a daunting task when you don’t have the right tools or materials and a friendly, helpful salesperson giving you tips is always welcomed. The owner of an Ace Hardware Store near my sister-in-law’s home is just that kind of place and when I do projects for her the owner of the store always gives helpful tips or lets me borrow a tool instead of buying it.
    Nice buildings and doors in your post too!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice doors, and a business with the best marketing plan I’ve ever read. We have a hardware/lumberyard in my small town that would be a good match. I’m happy when I realize I need to go there.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a great bunch of buildings! You’re right: it’s priceless, when you find a place where the staff know what they’re selling and can (and are willing to) help the customer. If I know more than the sales assistant in a hardware store or lumber yard, I’m scared.

    Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts. Start or join the discussion. Sadly, links require moderation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: