The large window in the office above the Chelsea Lumber showroom allows Bob Daniels
to keep an eye on the family business, literally and figuratively.
And, after 53 years in the family business, Daniels
is proud to say that evolution is not finished.
left a promising career in the U.S. Navy
in 1955 after serving overseas in the Korean War.
"It was a definite option to stay in the Navy; they certainly wanted me, but Marjorie and I decided to return to Chelsea to join my brother at Chelsea Lumber
...As the new president of the company, Bob recognized the need for Chelsea Lumber Co. to compete with larger lumber companies in Southeast Michigan, a challenge he still takes very seriously.
"The emphasis changed to being competitive in price, quality and service, and that has remained our emphasis up to today," he
"Where we started with one person in kitchens, we now have 10," Daniels
As the economy began to slow, Daniels
would have to tap new markets to ensure the survival of the business.
Not only does Chelsea Lumber handle construction of kitchens, pole barns and new homes, it has also branched out into the light commercial market such as professional offices, a fire station, churches, Holiday Inns and other motels, Daniels
"We are willing to reach out from Chelsea in all directions, sometimes up to 100 miles and occasionally farther, in order to remain successful," Daniels
The Bridgewater acquisition was extremely controversial, but Bob Daniels
was confident the move would pay off.
"Lumberyards are closing in Michigan at an extremely rapid pace, and we are emphasizing quality," Daniels
...Bob Daniels, president of Chelsea and Bridgewater Lumber, said people have criticized the wisdom of the acquisition, given of the difficult economy.
"We see great potential, with the possibility of expansion in the Saline store," Daniels
"We need to prove to the people of Saline that we would be their home center of choice," he