ATASCADERO — After 95 years of continuous business as a lumberyard in Atascadero, DeCou Lumber will close its doors due to not being able to secure financing.
Co-owner Jay DeCou said that the business has weathered more than 80 customer bankruptcies, as well as the crash of the local and state housing markets in the last five years.
DeCou said that their loan, on which a payment had not been late for 27 years, had come due with the bank that had purchased Santa Lucia Bank.
“It was real unfortunate; it’s the economics of it,” DeCou said. “We were just working out way out of the hole. … Essentially, it’s too little too late.”
He said that the business had its best month this May since June 2008. He said he and his siblings knew they would have to close their business when negioations with the bank broke down on May 30 and no other bank in town would give them a loan due to the economy.
While the DeCou has not always owned the businesses and it has not always been called DeCou Lumber, the lumberyard was opened in 1917.
Twenty years later, Jerry DeCou Jr. and Ralph Hagle purchased the business and renamed it Hagle-DeCou Lumber. In 1958, Jerry DeCou III purchased his father’s share of the business and in 1971 became the sole owner. At that time, it got its current name DeCou Lumber and Ace Hardware. In the mid-1980s, Jerry DeCou III’s children, Jay, Jeff, John and Jeannie, took over operations of the business.
“We really appreciate all the community support over the last 75 years,” Jay DeCou said. “We’ve had a good run in the community.”
DeCou said that the business will start a liquidation sale today and it will likely run for four weeks. After that the business will close.For the complete article see the 06-20-2012 issue.
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