BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT — John McFarland, Conrad Building Center owner, stands with employee Everett Breding while Chad Baker, playing the role of a customer, shows off his great smile. I-O photo by Deanna Wakkinen
By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter
As a new special for the I-O we will be running a bi-monthly ‘Spotlight on Business’ with an emphasis on their contributions to our community and their history.
These spotlights are not only for the large businesses of our area but also for the ‘little guy’ who gives back to our community in ways that often go unnoticed. Each business contributes to Conrad’s and Montana’s success in times of hardship across the nation.
A business can only provide so much when it comes to their merchandise, what we look for in Conrad is not only great service but unity in our community.
In the heart of Conrad sits a business built with pride and integrity. Hennessy Lumber Company had been run in Conrad since the 1940’s when the McFarlands considered moving back to town.
John McFarlands says, “We knew it was a great place to raise a family.”
The plans for a move were solidified when Margaret Graham retired at the high school and Janie, John’s wife, was hired to be the new business teacher.
After working two years for John and Kay Stibel at the lumber yard, the McFarlands purchased it in July of 1992. It is now known as the Conrad Building Center (CBC).
Now in their 18th year, John and Janie have plans to retire with a continuance agreement in place. In the year 2019, current employee Heath Elings plans to buy the business and John is happy with this decision and commented that it is “really important to us that it continues.”
CBC currently employees 12 people and John boasted that “each and every one is important. We think they are the best around.” He continued by saying, “we have a staff of employees that treats this as their own business” and each person shows a “great deal of pride”.
When it comes to giving back to our community, the staff at the CBC is active in giving back by serving on boards, joining civic groups, being on the search and rescue and by volunteering. John said that when something is going on, “we want to be a part of it.”
CBC specializes in not only lumber but in windows, doors, cabinetry and paint. They boast sophisticated color technology with the paint they sell and keep records for their customers to ensure that when they come back, they get the correct color again.
The CBC will deliver anything, anytime and has your home covered from ceiling to floor. John commented that they don’t only sell products, “we sell service. Great service at competitive prices.”
CBC does give referrals to local contractors and John says, “Conrad is fortunate.” As we have a great “resource for skilled contractors.”