CANFIELD – When a business has more than 60 years of history and experience to fall back on, it shows. And, Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods in Canfield is no exception.
Since 1960, the company has manufactured hardwood products, selling from coast to coast for residential and commercial building projects.
Like many good stories, this one began on a small family farm. Three brothers – Howard, Richard and Paul Baird – decided to make some extra money over evenings and weekends by cutting rough lumber for local orders while managing their own individual jobs on the farm.
“I was 16 years old, still in high school, when my brothers and I used my father’s handset sawmill to take a couple of local orders,” says Paul Baird, co-owner of Baird Brothers. “And, just like anything else, day by day, month by month, we grew into what we are today.”
The brothers incorporated in 1960 and added a fourth family member, their sister Helen, to assist with day-to-day operations. As business grew, the first of many buildings was built at the company’s Crory Road site in Canfield and operations expanded into making pallets for area steel mills and picture frame mouldings for large, national contracts. Later, the company began using its moulding plant to manufacture architectural millwork and sell directly to customers.
“As we grew into a dimensional lumber operation, we slowly phased out of our sawmill business,” says Baird. “There were lots of lean times. But we had great people working for us. You have to have quality people – you have to have good people – because you’re only as strong as the individuals you have around you.”
The 1990s brought with it sizable growth. Baird Brothers built a showroom, added second-generation family members to major roles within the company, upgraded machinery and began introducing environmentally sustainable practices to its operations.
The company, moving into its 61st year, employs 125.
“Seeing family members become part of your business is something every entrepreneur dreams of seeing. We are very lucky,” Baird says.
Pictured: The Baird family has grown along with its business. Active in the business today are, front row from left: Lori Baird, Tim Baird, Terry Baird, Paul Baird, Matt Baird and Margot Baird. In the back row are Mark Baird and Scott Baird.