Some 300 contractors helped celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Blue Ridge Lumber, based in Blairstown, N.J.
Founders Grace and Donald Ackerson were also on hand, with live entertainment and a vendor expo. Some 25 vendors took part in the event as well.
Fifty years ago, the Ackersons leased a small portion of Read's Apple Jack distillery and started the company with determination, plenty of dreams and very little capital, according to the company. By the late 1960s, the company had grown enough to buy the cider mill and in 1972 constructed a new building across the stream, where the Blairstown location is now. Don and Grace worked together for 32 years and built a very successful business, which employed more than 25 people in the late 1980s. The Blairstown yard remains the corporate headquarters today.
In 1992, Donald retired and Greg, his son, became president at the age of 26. Greg is a graduate of Lehigh University and worked for Somerville Lumber prior to returning to the family business in 1992. Since 1992, Greg has expanded the company several times:
• 1995 - Startup of Grand Rental Station, Blairstown, N.J.
• 1998 - Purchase of Williams and Hibler, Hackettstown, N.J.
• 2005 - Second Grand Rental Station started, Hackettstown N.J.
• 2008 - Purchase of Wicks/Bradco lumberyard, Kenvil, N.J.
• 2010 - Purchase of Wicks/Bradco Kitchen and Bath
"Regardless of our company's growth, Blue Ridge Lumber maintains its commitment to customer service above everything else," Greg Ackerson said.
Today Blue Ridge Lumber has six locations: three lumberyards, one Kitchen & Bath Design Center and two Grand Rental Stations.