WICHITA — Another local lumber company is being sold, but this time it’s not because of the economy.
“I love working here, but I would like to sell it because of my age,” says owner Pat Reichenberger, who is 71. “I’m going to be gone sooner or later.”
Until then, though, he plans to stay on, “ ’cause I love what I’m doing.”
“We could not be more thankful that Pat is going to manage the Andale Lumber yard,” says Jack Fisher. “We thought it would be a good deal. We’ve known Pat for years. Our parents have.”
Jack and Joe Fisher’s parents started the family’s full-service lumber yard in 1955. Today, the company has its lumber yard in Garden Plain and the Gallery Expressions showroom on the west side of Wichita at 7355 W. Taft.
Reichenberger incorporated in 1973 as the Pat Reichenberger Co. and later changed the name to Andale Lumber. The company has about 15 employees, which is down from 35 in 2008 before the economy tanked and the construction industry in particular took a hit. Fisher Lumber has 23 employees, which is down from about 38 a few years ago.
Reichenberger says the lumber industry, which had been steadily shrinking, is getting better.
“In spite of the weather, business is better,” he says. “It’s improving. … I’m not so sure things are better nationwide, but at least there’s more going on.”
The Fishers say there are several good things about purchasing Andale Lumber.
“We have product that his salespeople will be able to sell to their customers,” Joe Fisher says.
He says Fisher Lumber will be able to buy more competitively, too.
Also, he says, Andale Lumber has rail service to its yard, and Fisher Lumber no longer does.
“Our culture and values are the same with his people up there,” Jack Fisher says. “Everyone is on board and ready to team up.”
Joe Fisher says the companies are very similar.
“That is actually one of the most important things.”
“It looked like a good match for us.”