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Schutte Lumber’s Secret? ‘Sticking to What We Do Best’

Schutte Lumber’s Secret? ‘Sticking to What We Do Best’


S.Z. Schutte founded Schutte Lumber in 1880, only a few decades after Kansas City itself was officially incorporated as a town.

“Schutte Lumber is 137 years old,” owner Michael Fuhrman said. “The company made it that far and long by sticking to what we do best.”

A landmark on Kansas City’s Southwest Boulevard, Schutte’s 13-acre lumberyard encompasses a mill, a showroom and a truly massive array of high-quality lumber products.

“A lot of lumberyards have popped up. We chose to make them customers and key suppliers rather than take a commodity-based approach,” said Fuhrman. “It’s an incredible, generous industry. We buy supplies from all over the world and locally, too.”

Fuhrman took charge of Schutte Lumber in 2014, assuming command from his dad, Daniel. The elder Fuhrman acquired the family-operated business and trust in 1997.

So Michael grew up in the industry.  He learned to clean the yard, fix fences, make deliveries, manage inventory—practically every piece of the business.

His advice to those building a business that lasts: “There are always going to be bright, shiny things. It’s hard to resist getting outside of your comfort zone. Stick to your core values and do what you do better than others.”


Written by

Pete Dulin is a freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. He is also the author of Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, KC Ale Trail, Last Bite: 100 Recipes from Kansas City's Best Chefs and Cooks, and Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries in Central Kansas and Missouri. // www.petedulin.com

Categories: Made to Last


  1. (913) 432-6690
  2. 116 W 3rd St., Suite 203
        Kansas City, MO
  3. editor@ithinkbigger.com


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