The History of the Ricci Family...
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 their customer base, they added lumber and plywood materials to complement the masonry store.
Originally called Ricci Supply, they 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. The staff continued to grow from only a handful of employees in 1970 to 24 starting in 1975 as customers asked for more services and longer hours.
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 1983 it was decided that our 600 sft hardware store was too small. A major renovation was undertaken adding a second floor to the building and increasing the hardware store to 5500 sft. When we completed this expansion, we joined one of the largest hardware suppliers in the country adding 80,000 products to product lines.
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.
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, 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 Supply has become the recognized leader in building supplies for the Seacoast area. After 35 years of being called Supply, it became obvious that the 2nd part of our name no longer described what we had become. The switch to Ricci Lumber was completed on November 1st 1993, though the corporate name still remains the same. 1995 became significant as we took a giant leap forward joining forces with ACE Hardware adding national sourcing for over a million products.
As we approached 40 years, the third generation became intimately involved in the company and learned the ropes from the bottom up as his father did. Ed Hayes climbed through the ranks of the company over the next couple of years to then become President and owner of the company. Through his leadership the company has more than doubled in size, added many employees, increased our delivery fleet and expanded our building product lines.
Most recently, we completely rebuilt our millwork and cabinet division building into a modern sales center. Renamed Ricci Lumber Design Center, this facility displays the highest quality windows, doors, cabinets, counters, appliances and furniture all under one roof. 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!
We're celebrating over 60 years!