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Family legacy lives on at New Lumber | Federal Way Business Buzz

Brothers and business partners Jim Eichholtz (at left) and Bill Eichholtz of New Lumber and Hardware Company in Federal Way continue their father’s lumber and hardware business legacy from 1954. - Debra Feammelli/For The Mirror
Brothers and business partners Jim Eichholtz (at left) and Bill Eichholtz of New Lumber and Hardware Company in Federal Way continue their father’s lumber and hardware business legacy from 1954.
— image credit: Debra Feammelli/For The Mirror

Times were uncertain for Federal Way business owner Philip Eichholtz when he took a cruise to Australia with his spouse, Peggy, in 1969.

The purpose of the trip was to think about whether to continue his family-owned company, New Lumber and Hardware Company, said his son Jim Eichholtz.

Philip Eichholtz decided to keep his business going. And today, New Lumber and Hardware is one of the oldest locally owned retail businesses in Federal Way.

In fact, the store is celebrating its 55th anniversary.

The family legacy started in 1954 when Philip Eichholtz constructed a 10,000-square-foot building, located on two acres at 30854 Pacific Highway S., where Knoll Lumber Company once resided in the 1940s. Eichholtz purchased the Knoll lumberyard before building his own store and starting the family business.

Over the years, all four of the Eichholtz children worked at the “nuts and bolts” store. Here they learned superb customer service skills and gained an in-depth understanding of the inventory, said Jim Eichholtz, who manages the store with his partner and brother Bill Eichholtz.

Their knowledge comes from decades of working with wood vendors and a 1960s stint operating a home building division of the company.

“We have seen just about every kind of wood and if we don’t have it, we know where to get it,” said Jim Eichholtz.

In the 1970s, the store joined the True Value cooperative.

Summing up his more than 30 years in the family business, Jim Eichholtz said: “It’s been great.”

His father, Philip Eichholtz, the founder of New Lumber and Hardware, is now 88 years old and lives in Gig Harbor, Wash. His spouse, Peggy, passed away in 2007. Peggy’s father, James Austin, wrote for the American Lumberman magazine, bringing the Eichholtz legacy in the lumber industry to more than 55 years.

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