Richert and his wife Anne aren't your typical local lumberyard couple. He holds master's degree in Business from Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) and found work in a local lumberyard at a time when jobs were hard to find. He then joined a major chemical firm's three-man financial team on Page Mill Road where real estate at the time was the most expensive in the world. Anne, meanwhile, used her degree from UC Berkeley to join the management team at Atari, one of the early computer game companies. They married in 1970, and it was just a few years later when Tom got the itch to go into business for himself and, with Anne's encouragement, Richert Lumber was born. They sold their Peninsula home, bought the empty lot where Richert Lumber now stands, and moved into a rental in the Val Vista neighborhood. Tom bought an 8-foot-by-10-foot building and moved it onto the site, which he proudly called his corporate headquarters for the next five years, selling landscape products at the start. The first day's sales totaled $19.95, and he sold $5 worth on the second day, he recalls, but business picked up after that.
Matt was the couple's first child with two more to follow: Amy, who handles an Arizona state tourism office in Scottsdale, and Dan, who is in the music business in Los Angeles. Matt, with his wife Amanda and their two young children, lives in Pleasanton, as do Tom and Anne. Anne's active in the Tulancingo sister city organization program. The Richerts through their store also sponsor boys and girls athletic teams with the Richert Lumber logo a familiar site on Pleasanton sports fields.
Besides pictures of Little League and other sports teams lining the walls at Richert Lumber, framed photos also offer a visual history of Pleasanton from 1976 forward. When the business opened, the city's sewer treatment center was just a few yards north on Sunol Boulevard; there were no homes or businesses across the street, where the Pleasanton Weekly office is now located; gravel trucks pounded the pavement on the two-lane street on the average of one a minute, Tom Richert recalls, and Vintage Hills and Mission Park homes were just being planned. Of course with the building boom just getting under way in Pleasanton, a landscape business and later a lumberyard proved a bonanza for the Richerts who once called Page Mill Road and the Peninsula their home.
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