Local brothers-in-law Ronni Schmidt and Jason Miller bring their ideas and leadership to a long-established Isle business

 Located along Isle’s 3rd Avenue, just past Isle Bowl and Pizza, the site formerly known as Isle Building Supply has been a local source for construction needs for many, many years. While the business’s purpose isn’t about to be changing, the management now has. Rebranding the location Red Beard Lumber, local brothers-in-law Jason Miller and Ronni Schmidt are now the new owners. Miller and Schmidt have had a working relationship with the site for many years, and they hope to not only continue the good work the business is known for, but also expand into their own family-friendly territory.

“I moved here in eighth grade,” Schmidt explained, “and Jason is a lifer.” Schmidt had married Miller’s sister 15 years ago, and the two had been working as partners in the construction business for around a decade. Schmidt had been working on house construction during the summer at age 15. By age 17, he was working the job full-time. He added that he had a license to build with the State of Minnesota. Prior to the pair’s partnership, Miller had also worked for three years with heavy equipment.

As of Jan. 3 this year, the pair purchased the 3rd Avenue lumberyard. Over their years working together, Miller and Schmidt had purchased materials from the business as contractors. Schmidt said that the two approached Doug and Joan Leach, the former owners, about purchasing the business, and the Leaches had agreed.

Now that Red Beard Lumber has been established, Schmidt noted that 

the primary sale of lumber would remain the same. “We’re going to build on what [the Leaches] did well,” Miller added. However, there were several changes the two also aimed to bring to the business. In the near future, the brothers-in-law hope to add an expansion to the building, putting in a more dedicated mercantile space. As well as the building materials the store currently carries, this mercantile space would see an increase to the store’s paint offerings. They also have plans to begin offering custom handmade gifts and toys.

In part, Schmidt and Miller hoped that these developments would make the location more welcoming to women and children. “We’d like to open it up and have it be more family friendly,” Schmidt explained. “Ronni and Sarah have four kids. I’ve got six kids.” Miller added, “We bought it thinking of our families.”

In addition to rearing their families in the Isle area, both Schmidt and Miller are involved with Isle schools. Schmidt currently serves on the school board, and Miller and Schmidt both are coaches with the school football program. Jason Miller’s father Stan has also been a teacher and head football coach with the school for a number of years. Miller also noted that many people should be familiar with the local work they’ve done as contractors over the past decade.

As for the services Red Beard Lumber currently has to offer, Schmidt said the two could help with most any sort of work a house can need. “And sometimes more than that,” Miller added. The two would also be able to put clients in touch with a contractor to meet the needs of their project.

The shop’s winter hours are currently 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and they will open at 7 a.m. in the summertime. Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. year round.

“We want it to be a warm, inviting atmosphere,” Schmidt said.

“And reach out to the community,” Miller added.

“We are here because we like people,” Schmidt concluded.

The lumberyard on Isle’s 3rd Avenue has a long reputation as a community outlet. Under the direction of a family-oriented pair of brothers-in-law, serving that community remains a priority.

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