HBSDaily

An entrepreneur goes yard

BY Andy Carlo

If you needed lumber and some hardware supplies in Pierce County, Wis., chances are you needed to take a drive of 30 miles or better.

That’s not the case anymore. This past March, Blake Brenner opened Brenner Lumber in Ellsworth.

A native of Ellsworth, Brenner said the new yard was partly inspired by his father Barry – a home builder who was tired of driving long distances to get materials.

Brenner is no novice to the industry and swung hammer in his father’s business, building custom homes in Ellsworth and Pierce County. He was also in the carpenter’s union for eight years.

“Entrepreneurship has always been in the back of my mind,” Brenner says. “Some time over the winter I began thinking about people driving to get their lumber and the gap that existed. One thing led to another.”

Today Brenner Lumber occupies a renovated location that was once the home of Brenner Builders. Brenner says you don’t have to travel far through the area to find homes his father built. His intentions are to keep home building alive and well in the area while supplying local builders with lumber and materials.

The full-service yard isn’t turning away DIY customers either. “We’re open to the public. That’s part of the idea behind the business – so the hometown consumer doesn’t haven’t to drive 30 miles to get a couple of things,” Brenner explains.

Fullerton Lumber had operated a yard in Ellsworth before it was ultimately closed and the company was acquired by Arrow Building Center of Stillwater, Minn. in 2016.

Brenner Lumber has been stocking up on hardware and tools, in addition to lumber, while receiving new merchandise from a number of distributors. “You don’t get it all at once,” Brenner says. “I wish it was that easy.”

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