HOBART, IND. – A century of serving the community is certainly something worth celebrating.
“It’s the biggest milestone that we’ve had,” Nicole Haller Braner said.
Hobart Lumber opened in 1915 at the Hoosier State location it still calls home: 630 Main Street. The Haller family has been part of this proud institution for the last 67 years.
Bruce Haller, father of fellow co-owners Nicole and Mark Haller, began working there in 1948 at the age of 18 and took ownership of the lumberyard in 1969. Mark began working at Hobart Lumber in 1977 and is currently the general manager in charge of the organization.
Hobart Lumber expanded to include a hardware store in 1991 (it became a True Value® location in the mid 1990s) and it joined the U-Haul dealer network in 2007. The Hallers offer U-Haul® trucks, trailers, towing equipment, support rental items and much more. Reserve U-Haul equipment by visiting Hobart Lumber on uhaul.com.
On April 11, the Hallers and their dedicated employees held the first of three events to celebrate Hobart Lumber’s 100th anniversary of being in business.
The first centennial event featured a number of giveaways including free ladies’ garden gloves with any purchase, a sidewalk sale, U-Haul truck banks and coloring books for kids, door prizes, balloons and free popcorn (a staple of every Saturday).
Two banners outside the store proclaimed Hobart Lumber’s 100 years in business and thanked the community for its patronage.
“We did pretty well,” Nicole said. “There was a steady stream of customers the whole day, and we had a lot of U-Haul trucks out there that day. Some trucks got transferred later in day, but early in the day it was full and people could definitely tell we were a U-Haul dealer.
“Our U-Haul rep (AFM Jason Klein) came out and gave us a sign congratulating us. Our cashier put together the U-Haul toy banks and had them all stacked for the kids.”
Hobart Lumber is planning its largest centennial event for Oct. 16-17 and will hold its final event during the holiday season on Dec. 12.
“We don’t know what month in 1915, but we have younger documents that state Hobart Lumber started in 1915,” Nicole added. “We have lots of family here, including my uncle (Gene Haller) and my nephew (Scott Haller). We have 28 employees. It’s a big deal to us.”
Aside from the lumberyard and True Value store, where U-Haul moving products are purchased and rented, there is a third branch to the Hallers’ business – Cabinet Express – located in nearby Valparaiso. It opened in 2005.
Hobart Lumber is a great place to become U-Haul Famous. Take your picture in front of a U-Haul product and your face could land on the side of a U-Haul truck. Upload your photo through Instagram using #uhaulfamous, or go to www.uhaulfamous.com to submit your photos and learn more.