DeCou Lumber Co. in Atascadero closing after 75 years

June 20, 2012

DeCou Lumber Co. in Atascadero is going out of business after 75 years of providing building materials, paints, and hardware  to area residents. [Tribune]

On June 5, the management of the family owned business filed bankruptcy noting $1 million owed to Mission Community Bank and an additional $300,000 owed for merchandise purchases.

Last week, management informed the roughly 14 employees they needed to close because of financial problems.

Two members of the DeCou family purchased the lumber yard in 1937 from the Homer T. Hayward Lumber Company and quickly expanded the yard, built new offices and a warehouse. In 1957, the family again enlarged the sales floor area and office space.


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16 Comments

  1. Gsan says:

    Did the Mission Community Bank debt come through their “merger” with the troubled Santa Lucia Bank where DeCou III was the charman of the board?

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  2. Jorge Estrada says:

    Too many sluggards walk the earth today and with their unearned wealth they pay to exercise.

    (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  3. Spirit Filled says:

    This is a sad day for Atrashcadero. I have shopped there since 1989. Almost every week for one thing or another. I am really sorry to see them go. They beat everyone with prices on Sat. 15% off for seniors. Works for me.
    Miners across the street get most of the business in town. Every time I go in there its busy. I hate Home Depot, too big, prices to high, and they won’t lower there prices if you ask. Even Miners at times gives me ten % off. Oh well, there goes another favorite business of mine. We are living in a ghost town. God Bless all. Especially the DeCou family. They are good people.

    (34) 34 Total Votes - 34 up - 0 down
  4. Rawhide says:

    ? ? ?
    Jay DeCou declined to state annual revenues and profits for the business.

    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2012/06/19/2112588/decou-lumber-quitting-business.html#storylink=cpy

    (-11) 15 Total Votes - 2 up - 13 down
  5. Jorge Estrada says:

    To the next generation, what happened? Is there a lesson to be shared or do we beleive a hard earned community institution just tanked?

    (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      The failures of capitalism are legion. The corruption in the political system is deep. I expect that the younger generations will create new financial and political systems more immune to corruption and selfish interest. They won’t be looking to us for advice on this.

      (-19) 47 Total Votes - 14 up - 33 down
      • Laughlines says:

        Oh, my God!! What the heck are you saying? Businesses fail, have failed, will fail. Capitalism has done more to promote human welfare than any other system in history, faults and all. Would you rather wait five years for your turn to go buy three warped 2x4s at the State lumber cooperative? Good God, man, put down the Occupy Kool-Aid!

        (27) 33 Total Votes - 30 up - 3 down
        • obispan says:

          No, YOU would be waiting 5 years for YOUR turn to buy three warped 2×4’s at the State lumber cooperative. Comrade Hodin would be head of the Ministry for State Lumber Cooperatives when not relaxing at his dacha in the countryside.

          (17) 21 Total Votes - 19 up - 2 down
        • Slowerfaster says:

          What a FLAWED, STATIC, BOGUS, REJECTIONIST argument !
          Over-hyperbole is your undoing.

          (-7) 9 Total Votes - 1 up - 8 down
      • Slowerfaster says:

        Chris hayes new book, “Twilight for the Elite, the Failure of Meitocracy “, outlines this. The last twelve years have been a panoply of FAILURE by those individuals and institutions that were self-congratulatorilly deemed to be the ‘best of the best’ , with only locker-room peer review.

        Actually, the financial meltdown of 2008-2009 PROVED the failure of Capitalism…at least the inevitable FAILURE of UNREGULATED Capitalism.

        FDR rescued the zombie Capitalists in the 1930’s by instituting a fair amount of regulations on trading and co-mingling: Glass-Stiegel..the ‘uptick rule’ .
        Modern fascist and casino Capitalists succeeded in GUTTING those responsible checks.

        We now are in the midst of the SECOND GREAT DEPRESSION after forgetting the lessons of the FIRST !
        Just imagine TODAY, if there were NO Social Security, No Medicare, no even meager safety net…as shredded as EVIL Republicans would have it !
        People would be dying in the streets. Women of all kinds would be selling themselves for food for their children…and sometimes themselves..

        THIS is the ‘conservative-objectivist’ paradise that the anti-civilizationalists dream of.

        I consider myself a fair, but JUST man.
        These ‘conservative’ monsters would not fare well , or long, in my paradigm.

        (-15) 23 Total Votes - 4 up - 19 down
  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    A sad reminder of the casualties of the construction and housing downturn.

    Thanks Jay and family for serving the community for all these years. I enjoyed shopping there. Good luck in your future endevours.

    (26) 26 Total Votes - 26 up - 0 down
    • KatieEvans says:

      This is sad but nothing compared to what we will see close after WalMart is around in A-Town for a couple of years. DeCou would have made it through this economy except it is so easy for folks to just drive over to Home Depot. I like Home Depot for all the little things that they have but I have always gone to DeCou for my larger purchases like wood etc whenever it was possible. In this economy, its obviously all the little things that count. I will miss you DeCou Lumber.

      (11) 29 Total Votes - 20 up - 9 down
      • obispan says:

        What will close after WalMart is open in Atascadero? Everything that will be sold at WalMart is currently purchased in PR or SLO. Atascadero has no retail except K-Mart/(Sears minus automotive). The downtown needs to follow the SLO/PR model, a nice walkable place to spend time as well as money. DeCou was facing Home Depot as well as splitting what was left with a store across the street. Should Home Depot have been denied by your rationale, with the sales just leaving for PR and SLO? Nobody closed during the 1991 construction slump, pre-HD, they just employed fewer people during that time. This is not a time to point fingers, just appreciate DeCou’s history. I’m wondering how long Hayward will hang on in SLO. It used to be impossible to park there and forget about calling, you’d be on hold forever. It now looks like they’re closed already. Kudos to Miner’s, their prices are close enough to HD and nursery plants often both cheaper and better. I do sadly remember Miner’s/PHIC SLO hauled out the long banks of drawers with every possible part or fastener. Adapt or die.

        (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      “construction and housing downturn”

      That’s not a cause, that’s just another effect.

      A an indirect result of the success of Wall Street lobbyists in weakening regulations. Greed brought down everybody, except for a privileged few.

      (-1) 37 Total Votes - 18 up - 19 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Well it is be-cause of the downturn that the effect was he went out of business. No matter the verbage the net result is the same.

        (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
        • Slowerfaster says:

          I’ve heard this before , expressed in a different way:
          “Stupid is as stupid does”.

          (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down

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