We can hardly believe it’s going to be 2014! Where does the time go? 2013 was an incredibly busy year for us at Long Bros. We installed a new computer system in the office in April that has kept us busy and on a very big learning curve. We are so appreciative to all of you for your patience during this transition and during our learning of this new software.
As we head into 2014, Long Bros. also turns 40-years-old. We are excited to promote some fun activities, events and products during this anniversary year. Many people ask about the history of our business. It’s always a fun story to tell. We are currently on our fourth generation of Long’s running the family business.
This family business really started in the late 1940’s with great grandfather Chester Long in Keizer, Oregon. Chester and his boys Buster and Buddy would tear down old Army Barracks and resell the building materials. As the business grew and changed, so did the family. As the family decided to do some different things, the decision was made to lease out the business in Keizer. So, in 1965 the business was leased out to the McBratney Family for 20 years.
In 1974, Buddy and his wife Janet along with their three sons Mike, Larry and Jim came to Woodburn, built and opened L & L Building Supply. They moved from Keizer to the Woodburn area in 1975 to run the family business. In 1985 the family started working in the Keizer location again. The lease was up for the McBratney family and so the Long’s stepped back in. Two locations, Keizer being called C.G. Long & Sons and Woodburn being called L&L Building Supply. Both businesses were then run under the corporate name of Long Bros. Building Supply, Inc., the name we currently use today.
Buddy and Janet were at a point they were ready to retire, so in the late 1980’s, they decided it was time to move on and let the boys run the businesses. They spent much of their time with the grandkids, traveling, fishing and spending time with friends.
The three brothers made some changes in 1995 separating the businesses with Jim and Larry stayed in Woodburn to run Long Bros. Larry’s wife Lorie came to work in the business in the early 90’s and currently does most of the bookkeeping for the business. Kelly, Larry and Lorie’s daughter, started working in the office in 1992, after school and on the weekends. From freight to book keeping, there’s a place to learn all of it. She continued her education and graduated from Portland State with a Business Management degree in 2004, while working part-time in the office. Her cousin Mark, Jim’s son, has also joined the family business after graduating from Corban College in Salem with his Business degree. He spent some time as our delivery driver and is now in the office helping with the daily operations of the business. Jim’s wife Janice has even joined us in the last few years helping with inventory, computer transitions and helping customers. Jim also has a daughter, Jennifer that is a teacher at Willamette Valley Christian School in Brooks.
In 2007 we went thru a large remodel and doubled our interior retail space, providing twice the variety of products to our customers. It was a large project, but we are so happy that we were able to do this to better serve our customers.
We recently changed over to an Ace Hardware store. Many people worried when they saw that sign go up on our building, but there isn’t a thing to worry about. We still own, operate and maintain the business 100% in the Long Family. Our family made the decision to be a part of Ace Hardware as a better buying co-op for our customers. Bringing in better pricing and variety to the store, also the ability to carry Craftsman tools now.
We have many customers that come in and tell us stories about Grandpa, they remember when the building was first built and have been customers during this entire 40 years.
We also have many people that we have watched grow up and many customers that have watched us kids grow up. We feel incredibly blessed to be in such a good community. Great customers that we enjoy seeing, sometimes on a daily basis! Some that have become just like family to us.
Keep your eyes out over the next few months for events and activities to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. We look forward to many more years to come, serving our community and customers here at Long Bros.
The Long Family