After nearly 125 years in business, Kibler Lumber’s greatest asset is its relationship with the local community. The fifth-generation family business has been in the community since 1895, but it continues to add new value with each year. In recent years, Kibler Lumber has created a new tradition for its customers and community groups that makes a return on investment nearly every single week.
Serving southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky, the Kibler business has evolved over the years. It began as a feed mill, supporting local agriculture, and now operates a home center and lumber yard. What hasn’t changed is its connection to the community.
“Because we have built relationships and because we know our customers as our neighbors, we are able to serve them even better,” says Jenny Conrad, sales manager at Kibler Lumber.
In particular, Kibler’s long-time customers know the business for its long-time employees.
“We are very lucky to have the team that we do,” says co-owner and fifth-generation president David Bohl. “Some of our employees have been with us for more than 30 or 40 years. They’ve become a part of our family, and they’ve helped us build strong relationships with our customers.”
Over the years, Kibler Lumber has also broadened its relationship with local groups and causes. In the past, the business sponsored individual sports teams or charity events when approached by those groups for support. More recently, though, Kibler Lumber has found a way to support even more organizations.
From April through November, Kibler Lumber hosts weekly “Join Us for Lunch” events. Every Saturday, the business invites a different community group or team to set up a fundraiser in its parking lot. Kibler provides a grill, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and refreshments, and allows the featured group to take it from there. According to Conrad, past groups have made the event their own by adding baked goods, raffles and even chili on the cooler days.
Since 2006, Kibler Lumber has hosted dozens of organizations, with groups throughout the region lining up to fill the schedule. This year, the business has 32 events planned. After completing just 24 of those sessions, the series had already helped raise more than $10,000 for local groups and causes. At an average cost of $120 per event for Kibler, the series has made a valuable return on investment.
“This has been a great success story—for the local groups as well as for Kibler,” says Conrad. “Some customers come every Saturday just to see what the group will be offering this week!”
With this new tradition, Kibler Lumber builds on a long history of success and community support. For more information about Kibler Lumber, visit www.kiblerlumber.com.
This story is part of our ongoing ‘Local Memories, Lasting Impact’ series that highlights small, locally owned businesses and the differences they make in their communities.