EATON — Gillman Home Center held its official groundbreaking on Friday, April 21. The lumber yard will be coming to the location at 120 W. Lexington Road in fall 2017, tentatively slated for an opening at the end of September.
In 1962, Carl Gillman founded Gillman Brother’s Lumber to service the community of Brookville, Indiana. The small lumber yard made Charlie Gillman interested in retail and building materials. He continued to work in custom home building for many years, but then decided to focus solely on retail and serving other contractors. Carl Gillman passed away in 2015.
Charlie Gillman founded Gillman Home Centers in 1980. Gillman Home Centers is a full-service hardware and lumber dealer with eight locations. The location in Eaton will make nine locations.
Vice-President of Operations Curtis Gillman said of the company, “We have everything you need to build and maintain your home.”
When discussing the reasoning behind building a center in Eaton, he said, “The opportunity to expand was here. People need a place locally to buy lumber. Eaton is a wonderful, growing, vibrant community. Everybody here has been incredibly welcoming. It is the type of town that we thrive in. The size, to the type of people here, to the industry — to the growth, it’s perfect for us.”
He added, Gillman Home Center was already delivering products to Eaton, so the need to build a center in the city was present.
The response the company has received since announcing their expansion has been nothing but positive, according to Curtis Gillman. “We really feel like people just rolled out the carpet for us. They really want us here, and that’s a great feeling,” he said.
As for the space itself, he said that at first he doubted the location was big enough for a lumber yard, but once they started excavating it his notions regarding the space changed. “When you start the excavating you really start to see the vision,” he said. “It really changes it. It’s going to be perfect. With the layout and everything.”
He added, “We’re not sacrificing anything as far as size, product offering, or convenience for customers by itself. It is going to fit. We’re going to have all the stuff we have at our other eight stores.”
As of now, they have only hired one person, but they are dedicated to hiring local. Part-time and full-time combined, Curtis Gillman estimated they would hire roughly 20 employees from the area. Interested locals can apply at gillmanhomecenter.com/employee-application.
“Thank you to the town of Eaton and the Chamber, everybody here for being welcoming to us. We are very excited to be here. When we get here we will have a great big grand opening extravaganza. We are very active in all the communities that we’re in. We want to be a partner in this community. We’re excited to work with everybody,” he said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH