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Gar Eddings

Familiar Faces on South Industrial

Mans scooped up fifteen Fingerle veterans.

by Sabine Bickford

From the July, 2019 issue

"I think people were happy to see another family-owned smaller business," says Gar Eddings, director of sales at the new Mans Lumber showroom on South Industrial Hwy. Eddings had worked at Fingerle Lumber for twenty-eight years when the news broke last winter that John and Mark Fingerle were going to close the business and sell the buildings and yard to the U-M.

Eddings, by then a Fingerle vice president, and some of the sales staff met with Doug and Chris Mans, owners of the Canton-based home-and-lumber company, to discuss a new store that could continue Fingerle's legacy of local, family-run service. "It was really an easy transition to come in and say, 'I've got these guys who have these existing relationships," says Eddings. "We really want to continue doing what they're doing.' And they were very receptive to that." The showroom opened in June, inside the building vacated last year when Ann Arbor T-shirt Company moved to Maple Rd.

Eddings is one of sixteen former Fingerle employees who now work for Mans in areas like sales, delivery, and the Canton lumberyard. Eddings says they're happy that "people could stay in Ann Arbor who live in Ann Arbor." He says others landed at Chelsea Lumber, Carter Lumber in Ypsi, and Superior Kitchen in Plymouth, while some lifelong employees retired.

He thinks Fingerle employees "liked that John and Mark were there every day, and you could walk into their office with a question or problem, and they'd answer it. It's very similar" at Mans, he says. "We can drive fifteen minutes down the road [to Canton] and walk in the Mans' office to talk to them."

The nearly-12,000 square-foot building has been completely retrofitted with an office, showroom, retail displays, and a small lumber warehouse. Eddings says it's a very simple process to get an larger orders delivered to Ann Arbor. While tiny compared to Fingerle's six-and-a-half acres, he says the South Industrial location was a blessing. "We really wanted

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to stay in town or as close to the town as we could ... to make it as convenient as we could for the customers that we have, to maintain those relationships."

The showroom includes flooring, doors, counters, deck material, and windows. "We have virtually the same product offerings"as Fingerle, says Eddings. "The cabinet lines are a little bit different ... But for the most part, we're selling exactly what we sold before."

Mans Lumber, 2275 South Industrial. (734) 217-3260. Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sun. manslumber.com     (end of article)

[Originally published in July, 2019.]

 

 
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