Central Builders Supply


Thorp, Withee Twp., Clark Co., Wisconsin

From The Thorp Courier, October 25, 2006


Central Builders Supply

New Name - New Owners

picWhen Thorp Lumber Company owner Tom Hempelman decided it was his time to think about retirement, he started his talks with friend and fellow lumber company owner Dan Feltes, who, with partner Randy Van Vleet, had taken a $1 million business based in Independence, Wisconsin, and in 12 years had turned it into a $6 million moneymaker.  The former contractors and now-successful retail men, having taken on a third partner, Chris Demulling, are now the proud owners of Central Builders Supply in Thorp.
The partners felt it was time for them to expand to take advantage of larger-quantity lumber buying, and secondly, to set the stage for Demulling’s eventual buyout and Feltes’ and Van Vleet’s own retirement.  After visiting Thorp Lumberyard and realizing the highly regarded yard existed here with already high standards, they knew their purchase was the way to go.
Feltes says that Central Builders Supply has already noticed better wholesale lumber pricing since they’ve expanded, and intend to pass on their savings to their customers.  “Nothing has changed here as far as customers are treated and discounts offered,” says Feltes.  “Competition is tough all over, and we wouldn’t be helping ourselves in the long run if we changed our markup.”
That’s not to say changes aren’t in Central Builders Supply’s future.  With the new owners having experience as contractors and the ability to offer a computerized home design option to potential home builders and contractors, Central Builders Supply employees are now anxious to expand their focus to serve residential building needs.  “One aspect we want to bring to Thorp is residential home planning and building.” Feltes explains.  “We can design your home and do computerized planning with contractors and potential home owners, using anything from books to simple sketches.”  Feltes is anxious to meet with local contractors and developers to discuss this and the option of spec. building further.
One aspect that won’t change, says Feltes is the business’s commitment to quality.  “We always try to keep our business at a higher caliber,” he says.  “We operate more as a family than a business, even though we’re not actually a family.  We feel Jim Hackbarth (the new manager) will be able to keep our high standards.  We’ve also been very pleasantly surprised with the employees here.”
Thorp area residents will soon be noticing Central Builders Supply’s new advertising campaign which will feature a residential focus while remaining committed to agricultural needs.  “The ag business is so big here,” Feltes says, “and we want to keep it that way.”  He added, “We appreciate the people who are introducing themselves to us and who are so welcoming, and we’ll try to give this back as much as we can.”  Central Builders Supply, located in the 400 block of North Lincoln at West Birch Street, can be reached at 669-5898.





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