Hitting the nail on the head
LOUISE BOLGER | sun
Becky Garbus took over the business when
her father, Tom Kern, retired
One of the reasons living on Anna Maria Island is such fun is that the ordinary frequently becomes extraordinary. As soon as you walk through the door at Island Lumber in Holmes Beach, you'll know you're in for a little bit of the extraordinary starting with the poodles.
When Tom Kern moved his family from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Anna Maria in 1966, chances are his vision of the future didn't include being partners with his daughter in the lumber business. At that time he worked in construction on the Island for another company, and ultimately in his own business, but he always felt the one thing the Island needed was a lumber supplier.
In 1982, Kern opened Island Lumber to fill a void for Island contractors and homeowners, and working right alongside of him from the beginning was his daughter Becky Garbus. Garbus is proud to say that she listened to everything her father had to say and learned the business from him from the ground up. With Kern retired, Garbus now runs the business along with her staff of 11 including the Lumberettes.
You'll recognize Garbus and the two other Lumberettes by their pink shirts and also by the two standard white poodles hovering around them. But don't be mislead, these women as well as the entire staff know everything there is to know about lumber, especially Garbus the head Lumberette.
Island Lumber likes to say it is one stop shopping for contractors, who make up 80 percent of itsbusiness, as well as homeowners, and when you look at its well-stocked building, you'll understand why. In addition to its stock in trade of high grade lumber in all sizes and shapes, Island Lumber carries power tools, over 200 cabinet knobs and handles, nails, screws, hardware, plumbing and electrical supplies.
You'll also find interior and exterior doors, shutters and wood decking. Garbus says that many contractors will send their customers to Island Lumber to work with her in a relaxed setting to pick out replacement doors for their entire house.
Garbus also points out that years of building relationships with her suppliers gives her the edge in getting orders filled on a timely basis at competitive prices. Island Lumber delivers not only on the Island, but to East Bradenton and as far south as Venice six days a week and has an inventory of pretty much everything a builder needs.
Someone once said to Garbus that Island Lumber should have its own reality show. Well if you log on to Island Lumber's website, you can view an awesome video filmed by The Best Of Business Journalist, John Pace. This could be just the beginning for the Lumberettes and friends.
Save the gas and let the only lumber suppler on Anna Maria fill all of your lumber and hardware needs. Island Lumber, a 100 percent family owned business for 30 years, is where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
213 54th St.,
Monday through Friday:
7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
8 a.m. to noon
All major credit cards