History - Made in the County

From County Magazine - Story by Janet Davies.

When Carey Franklin Evans started his lumber business here in 1933, he made something that would not only last but grow bigger and stronger through three generations. C.F's son Walter (Wally) has been helping County people make things for more than 60 years, from fences to houses. Now his sons, Tom and Bob Evans are taking care of business, and Bob's daughter, Krista Stever, is the fourth generation in the family firm.

It's a no-nonsense kind of place, with genuinely helpful staff. Despite dealing mostly with contractors and professional tradespeople, they don't roll their eyes if you don't know the difference between a drywall screw and a finishing nail. Trust me on this one.

We're a builder's hardware," says Wally. "We leave selling housewares and things to the other kind of hardware stores." He reckons their customers are 60% professionals and 40% DIYers.

How does a family business compete with the advertising dollars of big box stores? "Reputation," says Tom. "Word of mouth is always the best advertising. You know that old thing ‘when somebody likes you, they tell a couple of people; when they don't like you, they tell everybody?'" He laughs. "We make sure we make people happy."

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