Contractors find a niche partner at Hobart Lumber in Valparaiso

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Published on February 22, 2011 with No Comments

Porter County Hardware and Cabinet Express, located at 387 U.S. Highway 6 in Valparaiso, opened in May 2004. It is a satellite of the main Hobart Lumber home. The design center focuses on kitchen and bath design, with more than 12 lines of cabinets and about 40 cabinet sizes. Trims are also available.

The folks at the design center like to be as consumer-friendly as possible, helping do-it-yourselfers feel comfortable with their projects without spending too much.

As a participating community member, Hobart Lumber’s business ethic includes the idea of “giving back,” both as a way of thanking its loyal customers and as a way to help build the communities they serve.

The company looked at all the “big Box” stores and realized, in a down economy, customers have to feel comfortable spending their hard-earned money. So a hometown outlook, with a guarantee the company will back what they sell by always being right in the community for follow-up consultations.

Hobart Lumber is owned by Mark Haller, with Mike Kelley the design center manager.

Deb Lewis is a key ingredient in the design center.

“My family is here and I’ve always been able to do what I want to do here,” she said. “You couldn’t get me to go to Chicago.”

One of the many developments the company has seen recently is the two-income families have to have room for either mom or dad to have the space and facility to complete meal preparation.

“The kitchen must be user-friendly, a family area,” Lewis said. “The main cook is also the entertainer and you probably spend half your time in the kitchen while at home.”

Haller is well-aware of the position his family business holds in his community.

“We’ve watched the Region grow and have grown with it,” he said. “The [original] shed in the Hobart yard, where horse-drawn wagons were loaded to make deliveries still stands.”

“From a small-town yard with seven employees has grown. But we haven’t gotten so large that we’ve forgotten what’s important – providing the personal service that brings customers back.”

For more information about the Hobart Lumber Company and the Porter County Hardware and Cabinet Express, call 219-762-3211, or visit www.hobartlumber.com.

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