KILLALOE – The company was founded on a single relationship, sealed with a handshake. A relationship that is maintained 60 years later, said company President Dean Felhaber.
Killaloe’s Ben Hokum and Son, the largest producer of red and white pine in Ontario, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. It produces 35 million feet per year at the two mills on the 267-acre site on Black Point, Golden Lake.
Felhaber attributes the company’s success to its good relationships with suppliers, good long-term employees…and their customers. Felhaber is also full of praise for his grandfather, Bennie Hokum (Ben Hokum Junior), who recently retired from the company.
Felhaber’s great grandfather, Ben Hokum senior, was an old time sawyer, buying saw logs and having them sawn at the area sawmills.
“The company was really built around a relationship that my great grandfather had initially made with the owner of a wholesaling company out of Toronto, called Falcon Lumber. Their symbol is the falcon, the bird,” Felhaber said. “Falcon Lumber, the original owner, came to the Ottawa Valley, I think some time in the late 40s or early 50s… looking for a supply of white pine lumber. He happened upon my great-grandfather. …They made a handshake deal that all the white pine lumber that he could come up with, Falcon Lumber would buy from him.”
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