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.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Customer Service, Home Repair, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Thursday Doors – Kelly Fradet Too

  1. dweezer19 says:

    I understand the feeling abiut lumber, it is like me with a brand new sketch pad and pens. So much possibility. I also love the smell of a lumber yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Handsome doors leading to a whole world of DIY. These are definitely my kind of doors. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    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

  4. bikerchick57 says:

    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

  5. John Hric says:

    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

    • Dan Antion says:

      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

  6. GP Cox says:

    Once again, you manage to come up with something different.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 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

    • Dan Antion says:

      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

  8. dennyho says:

    With a front door like this how can one not feel welcomed in their business…rather nice find, especially for a lumber business.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can almost smell the lumber, Dan. I can imagine you going there to begin a project. Super tour. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 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

  11. Almost Iowa says:

    “Any business is a people business.”

    It is why so many people are alienated by the corporate culture that believes “Any business is a process business”.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Vicky says:

    How lovely, my late father was a timber importer, the memories of the yard and the smell of wood has just come whizzing back to me with your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. joey says:

    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

  14. Norm 2.0 says:

    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

    • Dan Antion says:

      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

  15. It’s nice to know a family run lumber yard is still operating somewhere. Our favorite one closed a number of years back. I’m sure Home Depot was the reason. :(

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a lot of different doors on that one wall. I’m having Laugh-In flashback! :D Great doors post, Dan. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. jesh stg says:

    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

  18. Paul says:

    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

  19. reocochran says:

    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

    • Dan Antion says:

      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

      • reocochran says:

        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

      • reocochran says:

        I forgot to add that I also believe in the “Buy Local” and support businesses which do really “go the extra mile,” Dan!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. 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

  21. sathwika says:

    Nice pics!…good post..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Aunt Beulah says:

    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

  23. marianallen says:

    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

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