Over the years, many of our customers have asked “What does the ‘J&H’ stand for?” We’ve heard quite a few theories about it too, so we thought it might be time that we provided you with a little history of the “J&H” and give you a glimpse into the life of the company’s founder, Harold Neufeld.
In 1923, Mr. J.H. Neufeld and family immigrated to Canada from Russia. Upon arriving, the Neufeld’s and their four children homesteaded on a small farm just east of Rosthern, Saskatchewan. Only a few short years later, in 1927, J.H. Neufeld passed away, succumbing to cancer at age 47. One month later, their fifth child, Harold, was born.
In a single-parent family in the “dirty thirties,” young Harold grew up in a hurry. With three older brothers that were well on their way to adulthood, Harold ended his school education prematurely in order to assist his mother an sister, as they coped with life. At age 16, Harold became the manager of the Co-op store in Hepburn, Saskatchewan. At 18, he left the Co-op to start his own general store.
“Wheeling and dealing” was a necessity for survival for Harold. During his young life, he worked in the trucking industry, operated his own butcher shop, and then started a company which he named J.H. Enterprises. It was here that Harold partnered at various times with each of his brothers (Henry, John, & Jake), in the buying, selling, and transporting of hay, grain, livestock, lumber, and almost anything else that looked like it may be a “good deal.” Harold named this company “J.H.” in memory of the father that he never got a chance to meet.
J&H Enterprises became a flourishing business, which soon specialized in the retail building materials industry. The secret to the company’s success was great pricing, plenty of inventory, and outstanding service. That “secret” remains to this day. Over the years, many of the Neufeld brothers loyal customers became good friends with John, Jake, Henry and Harold.
Many customers incorrectly concluded that “J.H.” was really “J&H,” and was named after two of the Neufeld brothers. After many years of correcting our well-meaning customers, the family decided it best to listen to our customers and rename our company with the “J&H” that everyone knew us by. The family also thought they should add “Builder’s Warehouse” to better describe our stores.
Over the years, many of the children and grand-children of the Neufeld brothers have worked in the business and contributed to the success of J&H Builder’s Warehouse. Today, the company has grown and diversified. It includes a full line of retail hardware and build supplies, as well as contractor sales, installations, and a manufactured housing division. Until recently, Harold Neufeld’s sons, Murray and Don Neufeld, owned and managed the company. In 2011, Murray retired, and in 2016, Lloyd Postnikoff (Harold’s son-in-law), Mick Neufeld (Don’s son), and Jon Neufeld (Murray’s son) bought the company from Don. This change of ownership marks the 3rd generation of Neufeld family providing leadership to the 47-year old family business. Harold passed away in 2012 after spending a lifetime committed to the ideals that made his company strong.