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Former Greenville Hardware Owner Carves Out a New Path at Douglas Lumber

By Paul Lonardo

Smithfield’s Ron Depault and his family are well known in the area for owning and operating two hardware stores in Cumberland and Smithfield for many years. Ron established Greenville Ace Hardware on Putnam Pike in 1985, which he ran very successfully until he sold the business in 2015 to Rocky’s Ace Hardware, a Springfield, Massachusetts based, family-owned business that has many neighborhood stores across five states.

One thing that made Ron’s business take off was his ability to fix nearly anything. His product knowledge and the more than competitive prices they offered is what helped make the business a big success for Ron and his family. They maintained their high customer service level even as the big box stores began to open up, and chains like Home Depot and Lowes expanded.

“While we sold everything under the sun,” Ron says of his former hardware store, “for me, what I did was to help people through the process of their home repair.”

Ron was also private contractor throughout the 1990’s, and still was up until recently, when a great opportunity presented itself to him. Shortly after he sold his hardware store to Rocky’s, Douglas Lumber, Kitchens & Home Center offered a position to him, and he took it. And he couldn’t have been happier. It was a way to get back to working with people again, both homeowners and developers, and doing something he is very familiar with and which he has always enjoyed.

“It’s something you don’t think you’re going to miss until you’re out of it a little while,” Ron says. “But you’d be surprised how quickly you miss doing what you know.”

Ron has known the owners of Douglas Lumber for years, and has done business with them for a long time before they asked him to join their staff. They knew that Ron’s management skills, as well as his ability and experience working with contractors, would be a big asset to them.

“They are just a wonderful company to work for,” Ron says. “And there are such wonderful people there.”

As the Inside Sales Manager, Ron sells everything from paint and lumber to doors and windows.

“We pretty much sell everything you need for your homeowner project or contractor work if you’re a builder.”

Douglas Lumber, in operation since 1976, is family-owned and is one of the largest independent contractor lumberyards in New England, with a 100,000 square foot facility sitting on a 15-acre lot on Douglas Pike in Smithfield. They are able to compete with national chain stores on the strength of quality products, top notch service and through their membership in a multi-billion dollar buying group, which allows them to buy products at lower prices than their competitors.

Their state-of-the-art kitchen design center features 18 fully assembled kitchen displays as well as a free estimating and design service which utilizes a CAD program that will allow you to see a computerized layout of the kitchen of your dreams.

With their own large fleet of delivery trucks, they can deliver material throughout New England.

Ron’s strength is paint, but has vast knowledge and experiences, and he can help you with whatever you’re looking for in and around your home.

Feel free to call Ron at Douglas Lumber 401-231-6800 Ext 271 or email rdepault@douglaslumber.com.