What’s New (and What Never Changes) at Barney & Carey Co.

specialty lumberyard

Like just about every other business right now, we at Barney & Carey Co. are often finding it harder to come up with certain materials; however, by reaching out to other mills and wholesalers, we have been able to get what we—and what our customers—need. Quality can be an issue these days, especially with hardwoods. Whenever I am allowed to do so—even at some additional cost—I will personally go to these suppliers and hand pick our wood. 

I recently placed a large hardwood order with one of our long-term suppliers, but was not available to select the wood. I stressed the need for high-quality lumber to our rep, and he promised it would be. He suggested I pay the higher price for “cabinet grade” walnut, rather than FAS (“firsts and seconds,” in hardwood lingo), which would be mostly clear. When that unit arrived, I found that some of it was absolute junk, with a big hook in the board, and/or big knots and checking (cracking). It makes you wonder if people actually think their customers won’t notice, or will notice but just not care. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy, and got the provider to take it back. We haven’t built our legacy on selling poor quality lumber to our customers…

Another outrageous trend that has become all-too-common is the failure to return phone calls. I’m sure all of you have had this experience when trying to reach contractors, subs, and suppliers. I placed an order last July for exotic hardwoods, and was quoted delivery by September. September came: no delivery, no explanation. I called the sales manager a number of times, and he wouldn’t call me back. Finally, he texted me to say that he couldn’t fill the entire order. I texted back, asking him to ship what he could, and the rest later. Crickets. There is just no excuse for this behavior, and it makes you wonder how these places are even in business. Whether someone is too busy,  cannot supply the product, or whatever the problem may be, why can’t they spend a minute on the phone and just explain it to the customer? It’s not rocket science, and a quick phone call goes a long way for customer service!

Next year will be Barney & Carey’s 100th anniversary. The company has always maintained a reputation for the highest quality lumber, pine, and hardwoods, and we strive to uphold that reputation every day.  Sure, the business has had its ups and downs over that 100 years, but we are still here—a feat accomplished by stressing quality products and the highest level of customer service!

New additions to our inventory include units of 4/4 and 5/4 White Oak, 4/4 Tigerwood, and a company mascot, featured here standing on a unit of Tigerwood.  He belongs to a co-owner, Dovi, and his name is “Snoopy.” (Yeah, I know—a bit corny—but he is one lovable dog, and he does resemble the Snoopy from “Peanuts.”)

Tigerwood often has a very pronounced, often wild, grain pattern, and customers either love it or hate it. Either way, it sure is interesting, and won’t last long!  We currently have a very good inventory of various hardwoods in many lengths, widths, and thicknesses, including wide slabs and short pieces of hobby wood.  Please stop by and browse the warehouse at your leisure. Tours of our woodworking shop are also generally available. 

Don’t forget to say hello to Snoopy, who loves everyone, and is a sucker for a pet and a scratch!

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