A longtime dream of the original pioneer of the business, Doug Ashy’s patience and hard work paid off when he finally bought his very first small lumberyard. Now with three generations helping the business thrive and grow to become eight locations in multiple cities, Doug Ashy Building Materials is proud to serve Acadiana residents now and for years to come.
How It All Came to Be
Thinking that his parents couldn’t scrape up enough money to send him to a university, Doug decided to attend Spencer’s Business College. His business schooling came in handy, as his first job out of school was as a bookkeeper in a seven-location lumberyard chain called Krause & Managan Lumber Co. Krause & Managan Lumber Co was headquartered in Lake Charles, with yards operating throughout the Lake Charles, Lafayette and Crowley areas. Doug was promoted twice after doing the bookkeeping work for a year or two; first as the paint department manager and later to assistant manager.
He spent 10 years learning the lumber business there until Krause & Managan Lumber Co was sold to a gentleman from Dallas who also owned several lumber yards. Doug worked for him for many more years, until one day, Doug received a call from a man interested in hiring him as the manager of his brand new lumberyard.
This new yard did exceptionally well with Doug spearheading the operations, but he still hoped and dreamed that he would one day have a lumberyard to call his own.
1960: The Dream Becomes a Reality
Even when he was at Krause & Managan Lumber Co, Doug dreamed of opening his own lumberyard but knew that he didn’t have the money to do so. He and his wife Claire couldn’t see how this would ever become a reality because of the huge time and monetary investment involved.
Doug spoke to a business friend of his about what he hoped to do. He explained that he wanted to start his own lumber business and that he had found a small lumberyard available for lease off of the Abbeville highway from a Mr. Albert Leblanc. His friend agreed to help him kickstart this dream and loaned him the money he needed to get his operations off the ground. He then became Doug’s silent partner and thus, Doug Ashy Building Materials finally came to fruition.
1963: The Fire
After three years of successfully running the business, Doug and Claire received a call in the middle of the night informing them that their lumberyard had caught fire. What made this bad situation even worse was that they didn’t have enough insurance to recover from such a catastrophe.
The intensity of the fire made the night sky glow orange and even scorched the palm trees located across the street from the yard. The fire left nothing behind of the original Doug Ashy Building Materials, except for Doug’s desk that contained the accounts receivables filing cabinet. The desk was so hot, it burst into flames upon being removed from the wreckage of the office, but luckily, the accounts receivables files had already been placed inside of their car.
Competitors Become Heroes
Doug and Claire were up all night in total dismay, not knowing what to do or how to move on from the tragedy of losing everything for which they worked so hard. It was then that their doorbell rang and all of their competitors were waiting to offer their support in any way possible. Everyone who owned a lumberyard in the area was there to willingly volunteer their trucks, merchandise, warehouses and more—all to ensure that the Ashy’s would be able to get their dream back on its feet.
They now had the help they needed to start over, so Doug purchased another small lumberyard and worked hard to grow that one, too. It wasn’t long before their children began to graduate from college and come work at the lumberyard with their parents. Now, they have many successful locations in multiple cities with three generations to manage them.