Ricci Lumber was founded on October 31, 1956 by general contractor and real estate developer, Erminio Ricci and his son and partner, Robert "Bud" Ricci, Sr.
Born in Italy in 1903, Erminio became enchanted with Portsmouth, NH from stories that his railroad worker father told him during his visits to America. "Papa Ricci", as Erminio was affectionately called by friends and family alike, immigrated in 1920, and quickly settled in Portsmouth. He and his wife, Anna, were determined to succeed in America. Bud and Papa Ricci opened Ricci Lumber when they could not find a reliable lumber and masonry supplier for their construction company, Ricci Construction Company, Inc. (established in 1935). At first the company primarily sold brick, blocks and bagged mortar and cement. A short time later, with the urging of our customer base, we added lumber and building materials to complement the masonry store. Originally called Ricci Supply, we quickly realized that our customers demanded a wider variety of building materials and hardware than masonry supplies and form lumber.
In 1960, Don Hayes, Mr. Ricci's son-in-law, joined the company and began working his way through the organization from yardman to driver and eventually, general manager, during a career at Ricci which would span over 40 years. Don Hayes oversaw the expansion of the business with the addition of more product lines, trucks and equipment. In 1971, Ricci Homes was founded as a subsidiary to take customers from foundation to finish, handling all aspects of the house's constructions. A year later, Area Millwork was established on Albany Street in Portsmouth to sell windows, doors and cabinets at cash and carry prices. Don Hayes hired two great, long term staff members that are still with us today: Pat Moretti (current General Manager) in 1977 and Carol Bryant (current Controller) in 1982. Both Pat and Carol have been key to Ricci Lumber's success.
We were saddened in 1982 when our founder and President Mr. Ricci passed away suddenly. Throughout the 80's we continued to improve the operation, adding buildings, land and equipment to better serve our customers. In 1988, we added Area Kitchen Centre to the front building on Bartlett Street to take advantage of the changing trends in the remodeling/new home market. Since that time we have consistently grown, adding the newest cutting edge materials to our product lines. May 3rd of 1991 was a change of course for our company, as our complete facility burned to the ground in less than 2 hours. Though devastated, the next morning the staff meeting in a temporary office and encouraged ownership to rebuild. In less than four months, the complete operation was rebuilt and the doors were open. Now, with over 11,000 sqft of showroom space and 6 acres of lumber and building materials, Ricci Lumber is the recognized leader in building supplies for the Seacoast area. Today, Ricci Lumber is still owned and operated by members of the Ricci and Hayes families and continues to carry on its founders' commitment to the highest quality products, competitive prices and world-class service.
Our goal is simple, be the best supplier of building materials in the Seacoast Area!