History of George Kellett & Sons, Inc.
George Kellett began his family owned New Orleans business in 1896. For years, its primary products were coal and kindling wood, which were phased out after the proliferation of natural gas and electricity as fuel sources. George Kellett had three sons, Percy, George M. and Benjamin W. The company was incorporated in 1930 as a retail lumber and building materials dealer under the leadership of Percy Kellett who remained in control until his death in 1978.
During his tenure, Percy expanded the business to multiple locations whose product lines, in addition to lumber, plywood, siding and millwork, included metal lath, lime and plaster, mortar and cement, sand and gravel, metal studs and sheetrock. He had a plant to make charcoal and a mill to run all patterns of flooring, siding and moldings. He boasted of having one of the first forklifts and dump type flat beds on lumber trucks in town. There were several locations in New Orleans with the last ones being at 1330 Press Street and 741 Willow Street. The Willow Street location was forced to close due to the loss of property for the construction of the Louisiana Superdome.
George B. Kellett began learning the business in the early 1970’s and was placed in control in 1980. All phases of the business were analyzed and certain product lines were discarded to concentrate on the current costumer base, residential builders and commercial and industrial contractors. Since that time, refinements in marketing , purchasing, equipment types, storage systems, personnel, customer servicing systems and computer technology have allowed George Kellett & Sons, Inc. to not only survive, but to move among the leaders in building material supply in the New Orleans area.
In 1988, the Press Street location was closed and the business moved to its newly constructed facility at 1600 L&A Road in Metairie, LA 70001. In 2016, the family business recognized its 120th year servicing the greater New Orleans area.