History of the National Lumber Family of Companies
In 1934, Morris Kaitz opened the first National Lumber Company lumberyard in Roxbury, MA, serving builders in the Boston area with the professional service prevalent in those days. Morris and his sons Harold, Samuel, Louis and John worked hard to make the business grow. At that time, lumber was stocked by hand, with no help at all from the machines that are taken for granted today. It was very labor intensive work, but they moved a lot of lumber for their growing customer base.
With all of his sons serving in WWII, from 1942 to 1946, Morris kept the business going in spite of extreme hardships. After WWII, demand for new housing provided National Lumber with new opportunities for success.
In 1954, National Lumber opened their second location in Salem, MA. This location is still operating today. In 1955, Morris passed away. A few years later, in 1957, it was decided to phase out the Roxbury location and move the company headquarters to a new location in Newton, MA. This location has become a landmark on Needham Street, and is still a very busy location today. In 1970, Harold Kaitz, the oldest son, passed away.
In 1975, John’s son Steven joined the company after graduating from Trinity College in Connecticut. Samuel passed away in 1976. Mentored by his father and Uncle Lou, Steven is groomed to take his place in leadership of the company. John’s daughter, Margie Kaitz Seligman, joined her brother and began working for the company in 1980. She applied her MBA from Babson College to the development of systems, marketing and administration. In 1987, Manny Pina joined National Lumber as Operations Manager.
In 1990, another lumberyard was needed to keep up with the increasing demand. National acquired 12 acres in Mansfield, MA and built its current headquarters and its third distribution facility. In 1995, National Lumber evaluated the Moffett proto-type designed for New England job sites. Today, most of the fleet vehicles are equipped with these truck-mounted forklifts. In 2000, John Kaitz passed away, around the same time that National Lumber added a 36,000 sq. foot building for a retail store and drive-thru warehouse on Oakland St in Mansfield, around the corner from the headquarters. The same year, their engineering division moved into a separate, 16,000 sq. foot office building adjacent to the Mansfield headquarters.
In 2001, Manny Pina was appointed President of National Lumber. Steven Kaitz and Margie Kaitz Seligman became co-Chief Executive Officers, positions they continue to hold today. Louis Kaitz was named Chairman of the Board. The executive team was expanded with new Vice Presidents: Marc Osborne, VP of Purchasing and Michael Murphy, VP of Millwork. That same year, the Pneumatics (PNE) division was created to provide tools and fasteners, along with servicing power tools and rental of tools & heavy equipment.
Opening of our kitchen design division, Kitchen Views
In 2002, with a fourteen year history in kitchen design and cabinetry sales, National Lumber strategically developed the kitchen design division of the company, Kitchen Views.
With many builders wanting to send more of their high-end clients to discuss kitchen design services with the talented designers of National Lumber, it became apparent that a new kind of showroom was needed in order to better display cabinetry and offer a more enjoyable experience through the design process.
A prestigious location was secured on Beacon Street in Newton Center, MA. The historic art deco facade was an inspiration to the showroom designer and work began to transform the empty shell into an amazing showroom, which opened in 2003. Within its first year, this amazing showroom, which was designed to emulate a Boston area home tour, won a prestigious industry award from ProSales magazine for Best Design Showroom in the United States.
While this showroom is no longer in operation, there are cabinetry showrooms at every National Lumber location. Talented designers based at five locations travel across New England serving clients.
Continuing to grow, adding Reliable Truss to the Family of Companies
In 2003, National Lumber acquired Reliable Truss and Components of New Bedford, MA. Located in Welby Park, Reliable Truss also began as a family owned and operated company in 1954. This partnership has created a stronger company that preserves the important values of serving customers with personal attention and pride in a job well done. Together, they offer more value to the building industry with quality products, innovative solutions and exceptional service.
In 2005, National Lumber invested approximately $7 million to provide the best in computer technology and built a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at 129 Welby Road. The industry recognized their efforts by awarding us the 2005 ProSales Excellence Award for this new facility.
Also in 2005, National Lumber built its fourth lumberyard, store and Kitchen Views location right next door at 120 Welby Road.
Expansion of Millwork Division into National Millwork
In 2006, National Lumber's long-standing Millwork division took the name National Millwork and moved to a new comprehensive facility in the Cabot Industrial Park of Mansfield, MA. Housing a state-of-the-art custom millwork shop, offices, warehousing and shipping, they are organized for optimum efficiency.
National Millwork’s custom millwork shop can create anything from simple wood mouldings to entire custom built staircases and spiral stairs. Their CNC capabilities offer a wide array of design possibilities in both wood and PVC. When it comes to what can be created, the options are limited only by your imagination. Historical reproductions are a specialty.
Growing the Business, and Expanding Beyond Massachusetts
In the midst of a declining economy, National Lumber was able to acquire several family-owned companies, integrating them into the National Lumber family and expanding the company’s service area. Their employees were welcomed into the National Lumber family and their customers were able to enjoy the added benefits, products, and services provided by the greater buying power of National Lumber.
The first was Coldwell's and Arborway Kitchens of Berlin, in central Massachusetts, acquired in 2007. Their cabinetry division underwent a complete renovation with new kitchen and bath vignettes and was re-branded to Kitchen Views. Their Benjamin Moore Paints showroom also received a makeover.
In 2008, Tibo Lumber in Boscawen, NH, strategically located about 11 miles north of Concord off Route 93, became part of the National Lumber family and National’s first expansion beyond Massachusetts. A Benjamin Moore Paints showroom was added to this location, and Tibo’s pre-existing cabinetry division became Kitchen Views’ seventh showroom.
In 2009, Pelletier's Building Supply of Gardner, off Route 2 in northern central Massachusetts, joined the National Lumber family. This location also includes a Kitchen Views showroom and Benjamin Moore Paints showroom.
Pro Insulators Becomes Part of the Family
In June 2009, National Lumber announced the addition of Pro Insulators to the National Lumber Family of Companies. Pro Insulators already had an excellent reputation in Massachusetts, so National Lumber's existing Installed Insulation Team was then re-branded as Pro Insulators.
National Lumber strives to provide customers with all the insulation materials and services needed for new construction and renovations, while also staying current with building trends and environmentally conscientious methods. Reducing heating and cooling costs is always a welcome benefit, and Pro Insulators have the expertise to work on new and retrofit projects.
Pro Insulators uses their product and installation knowledge to recommend the best option for the task and they keep building projects on schedule with prompt scheduling and efficient work. Plus, customers have the additional benefit of having this work invoiced on their National Lumber account, and receive National Lumber's warranty on the products and installation.
The Torch is Officially Passed to the Third Generation
In late 2009, Louis “Uncle Lou” Kaitz, the last remaining son of founder Morris Kaitz, passed away at age 86. His spirit lives on in the legacy of hard work and customer care that he taught by example.
Expansion into Rhode Island
After years of delivering to Rhode Island, it was decided to open a retail store and lumber yard in Warwick, RI. The selected location was previously occupied by Eagle Lumber on Route 1 in the historic Apponaug neighborhood. National Building Products opened in March of 2010, with an official Grand Opening celebration in July to showcase the renovated store and brand new Kitchen Views showroom.
Today, the National Lumber Family of Companies is New England's largest independent supplier of building materials and experts in building related services. With pride, this family owned and operated business continues supplying and serving the building industry.