National Hardwood Magazine

 
 
 

July 2013 Feature Story

 

Established in 1991 by Pete Lang and his wife, Dee Dee, Cherokee Wood Products Inc., located in Upland, Calif., distributes a wide variety of both domestic and imported Hardwoods and softwoods, Hardwood flooring, windows, doors, mouldings, stair parts and many other wood component products.
Cherokee Wood Products Banks On Quality Service

By Michelle Keller

Upland, Calif.— Established in 1991 by Pete Lang and his wife, Dee Dee, Cherokee Wood Products Inc., located here, distributes a wide variety of domestic and imported Hardwoods and softwoods, Hardwood flooring, windows, doors, mouldings, stair parts and many other wood component products. The company purchases approximately 20 million board feet annually.

Species available at Cherokee Wood Products include: Alder, Ash, Birch, Cherry, Hard and Soft Maple, Hickory, Poplar, Red and White Oak, Walnut and Pecan.

Situated on five acres, the 80,000-square-foot operation encompasses a state-of-the-art planing mill along with an enclosed warehouse and retail salesroom. Located just behind Cherokee Wood Products is the sister company, Arrowhead Planing Mill, where value is added to the Hardwood lumber. This operation employs about 30 of the company’s 65 employees.

Offering amounts from one board foot to a truckload of Hardwood lumber and plywood, Cherokee Wood Products can mold their Hardwood lumber to any specifications the customer may want.

“Customers have long memories and we are happy to say that our customers see the difference, and they remember that Cherokee Wood Products Inc. offers excellent yielding material and outstanding service, along with competitive pricing,” Cherokee’s President Pete Lang explained. “Our commitment to service goes farther than your average wholesaler. Our company is constantly evolving in order to keep up with our growing clientele. Simply put, we are dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations by providing the best possible wood products and service.

 
Situated on five acres, the 80,000-square-foot operation encompasses a state-of-the-art planing mill along with an enclosed warehouse and retail salesroom.
“Even though we are considered a large company, we operate on a one-on-one basis,” he continued. “We treat every customer like family and we take care of every order like it is the first order.”

When asked what sets Cherokee Wood Products apart, Dee Dee offered, “Our quality is excellent and the product we manufacture is exactly that—quality. We don’t buy or offer cheap products. We have a quality control person in our mill that maintains our products from start to finish.”

Pete and Dee Dee Lang procure lumber from around the world. “We purchase 75 percent of our lumber domestically,” Pete said. “And we also purchase lumber from Germany and Africa, and many other parts of the world.”

When asked specifically for an outstanding feature of their 20-plus-year operation, the Langs would rather highlight the significance of their employees. “Sure we’ve had lumber that has gone into applications inside the homes of movie producers, etc.,” Dee Dee explained. “But what we’d rather highlight is our dedication and that of our employees. One of the things that we do is we look for employees who need a second chance. 
The company purchases approximately 20 million board feet of Hardwoods annually, including Alder, Ash, Birch, Cherry, Hard and Soft Maple, Hickory, Poplar, Red and White Oak, Walnut and Pecan.
We have an addiction recovery home located next door to us and several of our employees have come from there. These are people that have been in trouble with the law and need a second chance, a chance that others might not give them. As a result of our efforts in helping them, their service is nothing but outstanding.”

Giving back to the community in several ways, the Langs host an annual Christmas party for their employees and always invite the families from the addiction recovery home located next door to attend. “This home is equipped for up to 90 people,” Dee Dee said. “Men and women and their children are allowed to live there in certain situations. That’s really a special part of what we do here, reaching out to the community.”

“One of my wife’s favorite quotes is, ‘But for the grace of God go I’,” Pete added. “That’s how we look at many of our employees. They need that second chance. Had my bus taken a different turn, I could have been that man standing in our lobby trying to get a second chance.

Offering amounts from one board foot to a truckload of Hardwood lumber and plywood, Cherokee Wood Products can mold their Hardwood lumber to any specifications the customer may want.
“Our company is a company of people, not just lumber and plywood. We hire great people who have a passion for serving others, and we give them the opportunity to be themselves and to take care of our customers. We treat our employees like family and our customers like household guests. Perhaps most importantly, we try and hire people who share our values and common goals. Cherokee will continue to adapt to the ever-changing environment around us. After all, change is the one thing we can be sure of in our industry,” Pete continued.

“That said, as we embark on the next 20 years, we do so anchored by the same core values that inspired me to create this company. Being in the industry at a very young age, I know what it is to start at the bottom and work my way up. Starting as a truck driver, then into sales, and eventually I moved into management. Before starting Cherokee Wood Products, I witnessed and experienced many things that made me want to start a company of my own. My ideal company is a company that values its employees and creates a culture where people are eager to work. That’s what we strive to achieve here at Cherokee.”

Dedicated to sustainability, the company is also Forest Stewardship Council chain-of-custody certified. “In an ever-changing global economy, environmental concerns are at the forefront, and at Cherokee we value our role as stewards of our environment and its resources. We believe that ‘green’ business is good business and our policies and actions reflect that,” Dee Dee explained.

With four National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) Inspector graduates on staff, Cherokee is a member of the NHLA, Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association and the National Wood Flooring Association.

Starting out with a small shed and an independent truck, the company now operates on over five acres and has their own fleet of trucks.
Cherokee Wood Products looks forward to serving their customers in the next 20 years and beyond that. “As we reflect on the past, we look forward to the future,” Pete said. “As I look back at Cherokee’s earliest days and compare the little ole lumberyard from 1991 with today’s version, I am proud to say that while we might be a different looking company than when we started, we are still very much the same. Our outward appearance has dramatically improved, however, our core values remain constant and define who we are.”

Pete Lang concluded, “Customer service and quality of product have always been important from day one. Starting out with a small shed and an independent truck in which we made our deliveries, we now operate on over five acres and have our own fleet of trucks. Customer service is our first and foremost priority and it will continue to be.”

With future expansion plans of growing into the five acres to the east of them, Cherokee also has plans to open locations throughout other parts of California and Arizona. “As we grow we will take this attitude and conviction into the future,” states the company’s mission philosophy. “We look forward to continuing to share our knowledge of the Hardwood industry with our customers and with our future customers.” For more information visit www.cherokeewood.com.


Cherokee Wood Products has a sister company, Arrowhead Planing Mill, where value is added to the Hardwood lumber.

 
 
 
     
 
 

Home | Contact Us | Publications | Company Search | Advertising

© Copyright Miller Wood Trade Publications
No part may be reproduced without special permission

Site Designed and Managed by Pinpoint Web