To celebrate its 100th Anniversary, Garris Evans Lumber Company Owner John Evans didn’t just throw just one party, he threw five. The company held an event at each of its locations and invited their employees, area customers, main vendors, and local officials to the parties. They shared the history of Garris Evans and how each location came to be. City council members, city inspectors, and the Mayors of Jacksonville and Greenville attended. The Greenville celebration was a slightly bigger party; it being the original location of GELC. Each store also ran anniversary specials during the week of its celebration and a 100 Year Anniversary book was printed.
Garris Evans Lumber Company has been serving Eastern North Carolina since 1919 and just celebrated its 100 year in business. The company has earned the reputation for carrying the most reliable and trusted names in the building material industry and for its excellent customer service.
Garris Evans, an LMC member since 1977, began as a saw mill and lumber yard founded by two brothers-in-law in Greenville, NC. For generations, the family business provided superior service to contractors, industry professionals and homeowners. Not your typical lumber yard, the company even built affordable homes from the 1960’s until the 80’s. The company built 40 to 100 houses a year during this period while also providing all the goods and services you’d expect from a local lumber yard.
The Evans family faced tough decisions in the 1970’s when they realized their saw mill was outdated and that it also needed to be moved out of town. That move would be very costly. The decision was made to shut down the saw mill in 1975 and focus on being a materials dealer. For the first time in decades, instead of making their own lumber, it was brought in from huge suppliers who could greatly out produce smaller single site mills like themselves.
After almost 80 years in one location, Garris-Evans began looking for ways to grow their business. The first move was into the town of Wilson. It wasn’t easy and took years to grow the business but eventually a foothold was established. Not only was expanding a risky proposition, world events occurred that would cause a great deal of worry for the Evans family. They moved from a small office to a better and bigger location in Wilson and opened their brand new site on September 10, 2001. The next day was 9/11. The economy and mood changed quickly but the company overcame the challenges.
That wasn’t the only time Garris Evans would struggle after opening a new location. In 2007, the company established a new site in the town of New Bern. Shortly after opening, the sub-prime mortgage crisis arrived, along with the banking collapse which crippled the construction industry. The company stuck out the lean times, continued to grow, and Garris Evans now has five locations in North Carolina.
Garris Evans prides itself on service to its customers and they plan to continue that excellent service for many years to come.
LMC wants to congratulate Garris Evans Lumber Company on 100 years in business and we are looking forward to the next 100!
CLICK HERE to see the Garris Evans 100 Years Celebration book.
CLICK HERE to visit their website and watch a video on the story of Garris Evans Lumber Company