Busy Beaver was founded in 1962 with just three lumber yards located in Clairton, Verona and Carnegie, PA. Back in those days, lumber, paint, hardware and gardening supplies typically weren't sold in the same stores. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that full-line home improvement stores came into vogue. In 1975, Busy Beaver opened its first home improvement center in north suburban Pittsburgh. More consumer-oriented stores were subsequently added; and, at the start of 1984, the company was nearly equally divided in its number of home improvement centers compared to contractor-oriented lumber yards.
During those intervening years, Busy Beaver went through a series of ownership changes. Ultimately, the contractor stores were spun off as a separate entity. In 1989, the then existing management bought the remaining full-line home center stores and continued operations under the Busy Beaver name with its primary focus being on the retail, do-it-yourself customer.
With its commitment to that strategy and its ready adaptability to an ever-changing consumer marketplace, Busy Beaver continues to find a niche in which to successfully operate. It has survived in the shadows of the Big Box competitors such as Lowe’s and Home Depot where others such as Hechinger’s and Builders Square have failed.
In 2013, Joe Kallen acquired the then 14-store chain. Since the beginning, Joe has been insistent on seeing all letters, emails, and comments relating to Busy Beaver, both good and bad. His goal is to ensure that legendary customer service is our number one priority. At the same time, a store remodel program was initiated targeting improvements to overall shopability including new signage, displays, and product offerings. In 2015, Busy Beaver joined the True Value co-op. This strategic alliance not only gives us more buying power but also helps us expand faster and more aggressively.
Currently, Busy Beaver operates 24 stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and employs more than 400 people. We stand committed to providing legendary customer service and a customer-centric in-store experience at each of our neighborhood home improvement centers.