Colonial Wood Products started out in Orlando, Florida on Colonial Drive as part of Colonial Building Products. From there the company was sold off to in-law Frank Caldwell and relocated in Fruitland Park, where it soon became larger. The company remained at the Fruitland Park facility for five years until moving to Silver Springs facility in 1995.
Along the way Colonial Wood Products acquired Richardson Wood Products which was formed in December of 1987 as a garage business by Gentry Richardson in Leesburg. The company started out with one customer, Orange Blossom Gardens, with sales of around $2,500 per month. They quickly picked up new customers and were forced to move to a larger facility. In September of 1988, they moved to Iona Avenue in Fruitland Park where they became acquainted with Colonial Wood Products.
By June of 1989, sales were reaching $9,000 per month at the same time Richardson Wood Products purchased the assets of stake company ET Enterprises in Leesburg, who went out of business. Sales grew to over $16,000 per month by October of 1989 when Richardson Wood Products acquired yet another stake company in Ocala known as The Stake Mill. Sales for Richardson Wood Products than soared to over $20,000 per month, leaving Richardson Wood Products to be bought out by Colonial Wood Products in September of 1990.
Late in 2001, Colonial Wood Products added new equipment to aid in the production of construction stakes. We added two Holtec style pack cutting saws capable of cutting 1024 board feet in half in under sixty seconds. We also added new style hub centric split blade saws and fully automated strapping systems. This undertaking helped propel Colonial Wood Products as the leader in construction stake manufacturing in Florida. All while a Plant City stake operation and a 20 year old stake and tool company in Clearwater both ceased operation, a trend we anticipate will continue.
In early 2002, Colonial Wood Products brought onboard a few employees of another local stake producer that did not make it. In the few short months of employment with us the two have achieved more increases in production and efficiency then have been seen over the last ten years by utilizing our proven sales and production methods from our other successful stake production facilities. With future plans for larger Holtec saws, remote chop saws and fully automated conveyor lines, Colonial Wood Products will adapt to the ever so changing needs of the construction and surveying industry stake needs.
2003 has once again seen more technology and updated equipment with new Caterpillar forklifts, refurbished point saw and a retrofit to a gang saw. We now have a total of four lift trucks (1998 and newer), three gang saws and three strappers all capable of supplying more than enough product. Our technology improvements for 2003 are the addition of a distributor locator and a dealer tools page on our soon to be award winning web site. This feature will allow Colonial Wood Products website visitors to locate their nearest distributor. This information will help our distributors acquire more sales with less work, once again showing our "A cut above" concept not only refers to our high quality stakes, but also our exceptional customer service.
Colonial Wood Products has brought it's ordering into the 21st century with the addition of EDI ordering for our corporate partners. With our wood stakes being sold in numerous states and from coast to coast in and outside of Florida, our dealer network has grown based on our "A Cut Above" concept.
The survey stake industry received a major blow in August 2003 when a large stake producer in Delray Beach and Crescent City stopped producing lath and other stakes. Numerous suppliers were left without any stakes and Florida surveyors scrambled to try and locate new suppliers or rekindle relationships with past suppliers. As the end users, the surveyors found out not all stakes are cut alike. Only Colonial Wood Products is able to purchase enough raw lumber to produce the amount of stakes needed to supply survey stake instrument and stake companies. The new surge of customers needing product on short demand has maxed us out on our allocations for lumber with the local mills and now requires lumber to be trucked in from out of state at increased transportation costs. With the increase in sales from this sudden surge, production is now on overtime and weekends causing a major increase in overhead costs and raw lumber. We are dedicated to helping our industry and will assure our loyal customers will receive their orders on time and as scheduled. New customers are being accepted and will also receive product in a timely manner as well. We are well equipped with spare gang saws, strappers and other saws to accommodate all new sales.
The second half of 2003 had resulted in a stake company in Longwood and one in Clearwater stop servicing its customers with no warning, again leaving end users scrambling to find an adequate supplier, we did buyout most of the inventory of these facilities. At the same time, a small stake and concrete monument operation in North Marion county realized they were unable to supply stake suppliers in both Tampa and Orlando, leaving them desperate for a reliable stake manufacturer. This has left us with the need to let our current distributors know they can assure their customers they are supplied by a manufacturer that is not going to leave them.
Once again in 2004 three stake companies, a stake company in Palm Harbor, another in Lake City shut down production and gave their customers no warning and a large one in Auburndale just stopped shipping customers outside their county. Sadly most of the customers buying from the Auburndale supplier just had their prior stake supplier close down due to lack of finances, yet they choose not to check out their new supplier. While these suppliers lost sales and customers, Colonial's customers continued to receive product and were most likely the ones taking those lost customers and lost sales.
On July of 2006, we acquired the stake production equipment that had just recently been setup between Ocala and Gainesville, this operation also did not make it, even after changing hands shortly after its shaky setup. These newer machines will give us the added ability to almost double our current cutting, pointing and ripping process showing everyone we are serious about staying at the front of this industry.
In Late 2006, Tampa and Sarasota customers have learned a hard lesson by going with a survey equipment outfit that keeps shorting customers on their wood stake orders. Sadly, these surveyors keep going back to this outfit which has had numerous business failures since the equipment supplier they worked for pulled out of the retail side of business here in Florida a few years back.
Since the start of this timeline we have seen more stake manufacturing companies start and fail, yet we have continued to service the customer better than anyone. Colonial has grown from a one customer supplier to your only one supplier of wood construction stakes & lath in Florida. We utilize the highest grade southern yellow pine with precision cutting methods allow us to cut over 175,000 board feet of stakes per month. With numerous full time employees and a modern 10,000+ square foot facility, Colonial Wood Products continues to be your most reliable source for wood construction stakes & lath. As you have seen from the previous page, Colonial Stocks an adequate inventory to handle even the most demanding customers. Contact us today.