By David Beasley
Dell McCollough purchased L & M Lumber in Lake Isabella nearly 60 years ago. The Arkansas native was only 23 years old at the time. He was working in a meat processing plant and doing construction on the side with his stepfather.
“The old store was very small,” he remembered. “Maybe 800-900 square feet.”With hard work and determination, the business thrived. The biggest contractor in the valley had been buying lumber from a company in Bakersfield.
“He finally gave me a chance to give him a quote on it and we beat their prices,” McCollough said. “We got all of their business.” The store eventually became affiliated with Ace Hardware.
“In 2006, we were the No. 1 Ace Store in the western division of the United States and No. 3 in the nation,” McCollough said. His secret to success in simple. “We’ve always focused on service and quality,” he said.
His son, Ryan McCollough, followed him in the business and is now a partner. “I’ve been working here since I was just a kid,” Ryan said. His father is proud that the business will be staying in the family with a new generation.
“I’ve been fortunate, very blessed,” Dell McCollough said.