Decker Steel & Supply, Inc. began in 1929, just months before the Great Depression. Two brothers, John A. and Arthur J Decker left their sales positions at J.M. & L.A. Osborn Co. to venture on their own into a steel brokerage. With the help of their newly retired boss, John F. Reichert, Sr. they formed The Decker-Reichert Steel Co.
The trio took an office on the third floor of the Terminal Tower as the final touches were still being completed at the top of the building. As a brokerage, Decker-Reichert was primarily a sales organization, linking producers with users. Soon they realized that they wanted steel and supplies readily available to its customers.
They leased a warehouse below the Brooklyn-Brighton (West 25th Street) Bridge. Though the Depression was entering its worst times, they slowly grew and rented a combination warehouse / office on the near west side of Cleveland. By 1936, they purchased the current building on Train Avenue with plans for additions when cash was available.
At this point the gentlemen hired another former friend from Osborns to organize the production of heating and ventilating products. Decker-Reichert was now more than a steel warehouse and carried all the supplies necessary to heat homes and businesses. They added roofing supplies to the list, too.
After World War II the housing boom began, and Decker-Reichert flourished. The Decker brothers each had sons, James W. and Raymond Decker, back from the War who entered the business. Mr. Reichert’s two sons had joined the business in the ‘30’s and in the early 50’s a grandson joined the staff. He had a new vision with a new product line, stainless steel pipe, valves, fittings, tubing and sheets. The business grew as Northeast Ohio grew and opened a branch in Erie, PA.
Through this evolution, the Decker family led the company and continued with the 80 plus years of families, sons, grandsons, husbands and wives being a part of the organization. Currently, John W. Decker heads the organization. Richard Rudnicki, who joined the staff in the early 70’s, leads the sales staff as Executive Vice President. In 1980, Tim Nelson began working in the Erie warehouse and is now Vice President of the Erie operation. Many of the staff started working at young ages and have 20 or more years of experience serving our customers with experience and knowledgeable service.
All the individuals and families have always had the same goal: To provide high quality products for the industry with fast service, fair pricing, and to treat our customers as friends.