Cousins Chris & Jeff Galer grew up with some big shoes to fill as the fourth generation of the family behind Poco Building Supplies! Today, the pair stand at the helm as they take their family’s legacy into it’s centennial year, celebrating 100 years in business in 2021! After 100 years of family ownership, Poco Building Supplies is ingrained into the community so much so that you can’t discuss the history of Poco without mentioning Poco Building Supplies. Many customers have stories of coming to the store with their parents and grandparents and it’s almost as important for them to continue the legacy as it is for Chris, Jeff and the rest of the family! Family is the center of everything, from customers who have been shopping here for 2+ generations to a staff that includes many of the staff and customers’ siblings, children, cousins and second cousins! Poco Building Supplies prides itself on offering outstanding service while being nimble and able to pivot quickly when needed. As an independent TIMBERMART dealer, they aren’t tied to any fixed distribution channels and so acquiring products on the fly is easier.

John Galer with young Chris Galer circa 1978 (left) and Chris with son Henry Galer in 2016 (right)

CHT: What is new and exciting for your business right now?

Chris: Scottywood thermally modified western hemlock and ash decking and dimensional lumber is poised to be a big mover for us in 2021. They are beautiful products that are ultra stable because of the Scandinavian process of super heat treating the wood. It removes potential food sources for pests and renders the wood almost impervious to twisting, cupping and bowing.  It also takes on a really golden tone through the heating process and once it’s finished with a natural wood oil, it looks fantastic. 

Jeff: Our website and online presence is something that our staff has worked tirelessly to set up. Although it is not brand new, it is something that I am extremely proud of and happy to see it always evolving to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve.

CHT: If you could go back 20 years, what advice would you give your younger self?

Chris: Invest in Apple stock.

Jeff: Although I love my cousin’s answer and would love Apple money, I can’t imagine being much happier than I am today. As silly as it sounds, I would tell myself to “keep on keepin’ on”. I could tell myself something that would have me rich beyond my wildest dreams but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d be happy today and that is what means the most to me.

CHT: If you could have lunch with any one person in the world, who would you pick and why?

Chris: It’s hard not to pick a real luminary figure like Stacey Abrams, Barack Obama or Bill Gates but I think I’d end up leaning towards a more juvenile instinct and picking someone that would make me laugh and have some great stories to tell.  I’m a huge fan of Will Arnett and I’d really enjoy lunch with him. Or Bob Newhart. 

Jeff: Other than my wife (in case she sees this), I would have to say Tiger Woods.

CHT: What is your favorite room?

Chris: Almost every night, I snuggle with my five year old and we listen to a three song playlist as he falls asleep. Usually we both fall asleep to Wheat Kings. Right now, that’s probably my favorite room.

Jeff: Definitely my backyard. I have grown up with a pool my entire life and am lucky enough to have one today. During the warm months, it’s where we spend most of our time. Other than that, my 5 year old sons room for sure. I don’t have a man cave in my house so we’ve basically turned my son’s room into the man cave.

If you could give a potential client just one piece of advice, what would it be?

Chris: It’s cliche but ‘You get what you pay for:….  Price alone doesn’t determine value and while we work hard to ensure that we are always priced fairly in the marketplace, it’s important that customers appreciate that our service and expertise is driven by our profitability. Clients who understand our need to make profit and value our service point are typically the best to deal with.

Jeff: Support local businesses. If Covid has taught us anything, it is that when times are tough, it’s the small local businesses that are affected the most. I don’t mean to suggest that in the sense of Poco Building Supplies but all local businesses. Any little bit helps and these businesses are the backbone of these towns.

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