For nearly 65 years, one company has been the go-to for building supplies in Maine.

Started in 1953 by Skip Hammond with $50 borrowed from his wife, Velma, and just three employees, Hammond Lumber began as a tiny sawmill in Belgrade. In 1967, Donald Hammond, Skip’s son, opened the first retail store next to the sawmill when he was just out of high school.

These days, Hammond Lumber has come a long way. From those humble beginnings the company has grown to 13 locations in Maine, over 475 employees, and serves as one of the largest independent building suppliers in New England. Throughout that time, the business has been family owned and locally operated.

Donald attributes a lot of that success to the quality of employee the company has attracted and maintained throughout the years.

“We’ve been really lucky to have so many good people work with us along the way,” he said. “And so many who have stayed with us for a long time. That solid core of stability and experience has allowed us to keep expanding our products, services and stores.”

More than 140 employees have been with the company for more than 10 years. More than 60 have been around for more than 20 years, and 20 have for over 30 years.

The company founder’s philosophy likely has a lot to do with that loyalty. Skip set out from the start to “saw straight, talk straight, and do more for the customer than the guy down the road would do.”

Maintaining strong relationships, and being honest with customers and employees, is an important part of Hammond Lumber’s business strategy. It may not be complicated, but forming positive relationships takes effort.

“That’s the story right there,” said Donald. “It’s about people. The more people you have with experience in this business – and especially experience with us – the more you can accomplish. You can’t do this by yourself.”

Of course, there are plenty of other reasons why Hammond Lumber is successful, too, like the services they offer. Free delivery within striking distance, free estimates, pre-staining services, job site consulting, drafting and design services, door and window assembly, kitchen bath and flooring centers, full quality showrooms, and more.

If there’s a project to be completed, Hammond Lumber has the materials and the expertise to make it happen. From conception to when the red truck full of lumber pulls into the driveway to completion, it’s all there.

“I feel like they’re part of the team, they’re always there for us when we need them,” said Derek Chapman, a construction manager for the Knickerbocker Group, a construction company based in Portland and Boothbay. “We’ve had times before when I’ve had client meetings on the weekends and the Hammond Lumber rep is there. Hammond Lumber Company is very, very dependable.”

July will mark 65 years of service, with many more likely to come.

Hammond Lumber has four separate locations in the Midcoast.

The Brunswick store at 20 Spring St. is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. For more information, call 729-9924.

The Boothbay Harbor store at 276 Townsend Ave. is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Call 633-4474.

The Damariscotta store at 511 Main St. is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Call 563-1200.

The Bristol store at 2089 Bristol Road is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 677-2652.

For more information, visit hammondlumber.com.