Case Studies

Buzick Lumber and Home Center

More than 70 years of lumber and hardware supply for Kentucky family business

After providing services that range from material delivery to building estimates for general contractors for more than 72 years, Buzick Lumber and Home Center remains a local, family-owned business. Based in Bardstown, Kentucky, Buzick Lumber provides quality building materials for professionals and homeowners.

A family tradition

Buzick Lumber was founded in 1944, when local contractor Cliff Buzick purchased a small lumberyard in Nelson County, Kentucky. Cliff’s son, Donald, began working for his father’s business in 1945 at the age of 19. Eventually taking over the day-to-day operations, Donald decided to expand the business in 1975 by opening a hardware store, thus creating the home center division of the company. Donald ran Buzick Lumber until 1992, when he handed the company over to his daughter, Susan Elmore.

Buzick Lumber and Home Center

Today Elmore serves as president of Buzick Lumber and oversees the company’s 35,000-square-foot location, as well as a staff of 36 employees. “It’s our people that really make the difference and set us apart from our competition,” says Elmore. “Our staff has more than 300 years’ combined experience. We are all friendly, knowledgeable and professional.” In 1999, Elmore became the first female president of the Kentucky Building Materials Association.

Elmore began working for Buzick Lumber in 1975 in the hardware division, eventually becoming a full-time employee once her children got older. After more than 40 years in the business, Elmore says that she takes pride in carrying on the Buzick Lumber legacy. “I still love what I do,” she says. “We have so many wonderful people that work with and for us. I’ve also been able to make many friends through our clientele.”

Working primarily in the residential sector, Buzick Lumber provides in-house experts and consultants who offer custom design services for cabinetry, closets and more, as wells as selection assistance for any room of the house. The professional installers at Buzick strive to make all installation processes as smooth and worry-free as possible. “We help install kitchen cabinets, countertops, storm doors, bathroom accessories, play sets, doors, shelving and much more,” Elmore explains. “We do everything to make sure the installation is done correctly the first time.”

In addition to providing materials for homeowners and contractors, Buzick Lumber maintains a rental center. This department provides the opportunity for customers to rent construction equipment, which is useful for customers completing do-it-yourself projects. The company’s rental offering includes aerial equipment, compactors, compressors, concrete and masonry machines, generators, jacks, power tools, pumps and hoses, excavators and skid loaders.

A household name

Buzick Lumber has become well-known locally for its television commercials. Producing an average of two per year, the company often chooses a recognizable theme for each advertisement. “This year we did an ad based on the old “I Love Lucy” show,” says Elmore. “I can’t go anywhere in town without someone coming up and telling me how much they love our commercials.” Customers also stop in to the store just to visit Midnight, Elmore’s dog, who was known to wander around the store every day visiting with customers.

The strong reputation that Buzick Lumber has gained as a household name in the local industry proved to be a major asset in surviving the recession. By placing its customers’ needs as a top priority, the company has built a loyal customer base that continued to conduct business with Buzick Lumber though the economic downturn. “We did have to make some changes and tighten our belt a little through that time,” recalls Elmore. “With things bouncing back we have been able to rehire some of the people that we were forced to lay off.”

With buying power being such a factor in the lumber supply business, Buzick Lumber is able to maintain a competitive edge through membership with the LMC Network of Lumberyards. This network is a cooperative of independent lumber dealers with more than 1,300 locations nationwide. The co-op offers its members buying power in the billion-dollar range and offers knowledge and access to a nationwide network of market intelligence.

As a local business, Buzick Lumber remains involved in the community. The company has been voted Best Hardware Store of Nelson County for eight consecutive years and is a proud member of Bardstown Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Building Materials Association. Building upon its rich history and tradition, Buzick Lumber and Home Center will remain a staple in the local community.

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