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Geneva lumberyard business settles in

Jon Carlson owns Geneva Lumber Co. along with Tait Ingvaldson, not pictured, and has since December 2013. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Jon Carlson owns Geneva Lumber Co. along with Tait Ingvaldson, not pictured, and has since December 2013. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

GENEVA — Business is steadily growing at Geneva Lumber Co.

The company, formerly Richards Wood Products, was renamed when Jon Carlson and Tait Ingvaldson bought the business from previous owners David and Brett Richards in December 2013. RWP has since moved to a new location.

Carlson said that RWP was going to close after 13 years of business, and that he and Ingvaldson saw it as an opportunity.

Blooming Prairie native Carlson, 39, has been involved in construction since he was 18. He had his own company for 10 years before starting in installation with RWP in 2005. He moved into sales for the company in 2008. Geneva native Ingvaldson started working for RWP in the pallet shop 17 years ago.

The lumber company sells all different types of materials needed for residential construction, from lumber and siding to blueprints and designs. Carlson said its customer base is generally within a 45-mile radius and said the company’s busy season is typically from spring through the beginning of winter. This year’s busy season didn’t start until June, though, thanks to the wet weather, he said.

September brought Geneva Lumber’s busiest month, and Carlson said the company is providing materials for two houses that have yet to be started. He said those projects will carry the business through February.

The biggest challenge the company has faced is finding extra help on staff. Carlson said it is looking to fill positions in sales and delivery.

Geneva Lumber Co., 413 W. Main St. in Geneva, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Carlson said the business has been steadily growing its customer base through networking with local contractors. The business does not install any of its sales but provides the materials directly to contractors. Whatever construction work comes in is fed back to contractors.

“There’s a satisfaction in knowing you can deliver materials on time, knowing your materials will work and knowing customers will come away from a project feeling everything went smoothly,” he said.

About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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