By most standards, the twenty-five year history of Heppner Hardwoods reads like a modern day Cinderella story. In hindsight, the firm’s defining qualities of pride, passion and performance, were born through adversity during its first two decades in business.
It was 1978 when Southern California entrepreneur and founder Barry Heppner launched Heppner Hardwoods, Inc. in its original City of Industry location. This was the beginning of his quest to create a combination lumberyard and custom planing mill to serve the needs of designers and builders throughout California and the Southwest.
The next piece of the founder's master plan was realized in 1984 when he located a five-acre parcel in Azusa, CA that would become the company's permanent home. The move was completed in 1985 with a new planing mill and well-stocked hardwood lumberyard. For the next six years Heppner Hardwoods realized significant growth, both in its client base and on-site staff numbering more than 50 employees.
Then in June of 1991, a fatal blow was leveled that could have easily shattered the company. At that time, Barry was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told he had a short time to live. Just two months later, this otherwise healthy 47 year-old former marathon runner, died leaving behind his wife, Lorraine and three sons.
In spite of losing her husband and becoming a single mother virtually overnight, Lorraine Heppner chose to keep Barry’s vision for Heppner Hardwoods alive. The learning curve was steep for Lorraine, a fashion designer by training, but through her tenacious determination and with the support of Heppner staff, she gained the knowledge needed to manage and direct company operations.
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