Caseywood Yard

The Caseywood Story

The Caseywood story begins with John T Casey, the son of a lawyer from Portland Oregon. Sawmill companies comprised most of his father’s clients. The industry interested him so much, he even bought a sawmill in California. Thanks to his father, John grew up around the timber industry and became knowledgeable about it by living it with his father.  He planned to use this knowledge to follow his father’s path as a sawmill lawyer. But his plans changed when, after working at his father’s sawmill during his college years, he found he liked the idea of running the sawmill more than practicing law. John T Casey

After college, in 1960, John bought the mill from his father to run it full time. Over the following decades, he built himself a good reputation in the community as a supportive and upstanding employer, with around 175 workers at the mill’s peak. Unfortunately, in the early eighties John was forced to sell the mill. It had become untenable to compete with the lumber behemoths of the west. 

Not wanting to leave lumber behind entirely, John started a truss company in Grass Valley in the late eighties. Along with a crew of some of his former employees, he built residential trusses. Early on in the business, contractors would request additional materials for their projects: 2x4s, plywood, nails, and other supplies. It became such a common petition, John had the idea to expand the business into a contractor-oriented lumber yard – Caseywood. 

Building materials turned out to be a much more lucrative path for the area than trusses, and business took off. Seeing a good opportunity, John’s son Kevin moved his family from the Bay Area to join Caseywood a few years after its founding. Having sold paper for a few years, Kevin thought he could transfer his skills to grow Caseywood even more. John and Kevin decided to transition fully to building materials and closed the truss shop completely in the early nineties. Kevin focused on building an outside sales team (which was not normal in the area at the time), expanding their inventory, and building relationships with contractors. 

Caseywood Under ConstructionIn Nevada County alone, there were not enough customers to sustain Caseywood. So, Kevin visited job sites and contractors in the Tahoe and Truckee areas, where people were beginning to build luxury second homes that called for two to three times the amount of product of normal homes, due to snow load needs and exposed timber beams. He found plenty of clients, and their addition soon swelled to encompass one third of Caseywood’s sales. 

The business steadily grew thanks to certain advantages their competitors did not have: namely, that most Caseywood employees came from sawmills. Every worker understood timber – from forest to tree to log to lumber. They knew how to identify wood based on the smell of its sawdust, knew what trees in a forest would become a roof over someone’s head versus a fence post in their yard, and knew how to handle luxury beams with the care they required. 

This knowledge, combined with their hard work ethic and the outside sales strategy, sent the company into an upward trajectory. The temporary trailer that housed their offices on a little gravel acre soon became too small, so they bought five acres nearby – the same five acres they are on today – and built a brand-new facility and contractor yard. 

By the early nineties, they had grown to over $10 million in sales per year. Kevin’s brother Mark took the same risk Kevin had a few years earlier and moved his family out of the Bay area to join the team. He took over distribution, and by the late nineties they were at $17 million a year. Next, their brother-in-law Brent took the leap and joined the company, rounding out the senior leadership and taking over finances. The Caseywood Warehouse

John gradually began to step back, serving as CEO at a distance, and the sons took over day-to-day operations. In 2003, they bought the company from John, who had long since earned his retirement. Mark became CEO, Brent was the CFO, and Kevin was the CMO. Under their guidance, Caseywood grew more still, to $25 million a year. Then the 2008 recession hit.

The recession came down hard on Caseywood, and to survive it they had to restructure, which meant laying off many of their employees. They managed to keep their heads above water, but by the end of the recession their sales had dropped to $8 million a year.  

In 2011 they began to rebuild. They brought their staff numbers back up and, wisely, diversified their business to include more product lines to guard against another economic downturn. They began selling roofing materials, interior materials, and custom millwork. 

The Caseywood Door ShopBy the early 2020s, with 18 employees, Caseywood had returned to their pre-recession standing and knew more growth was possible. To take their business to the next level, they put out hints they might be interested in being acquired by the right buyer. The Caseywood leadership team were, rightfully, proud of what they had created. They wanted the company to remain a pillar in their community; a place that did right by their employees, customers, and vendors alike. They would not accept anything less from a buyer. Enter Central Valley.  

The Caseywood team knew Central Valley by reputation. Like Caseywood, Central Valley was a solid, family-owned business whose goal was to operate in a way that benefited their employees and their community, as opposed to the private equity entities that liked to gut everything for profit. After preliminary talks, they knew they were the right company to join. Over the greater part of 2023, the acquisition became reality, and now Caseywood are transitioning the reins to Central Valley. Everyone at Caseywood – and Central Valley – are excited to see what the future holds.