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East Coast Lumber & Supply

Allen Osteen’s great-grandfather and three others founded East Coast Lumber & Supply in 1902. Today, the business is owned by Allen and his cousin Don and operates yards in Fort Pierce, its headquarters, Cocoa, Melbourne, Vero Beach and Stuart. The firm is said to be the oldest building-supply business in Florida. The recession led to cost cutting, but the economy is coming back, Allen Osteen says. High-end work has returned, but builders for the middle class still are cautious. The company partnered with Ace Hardware to capture more of the do-it-yourself market. “That’s been very successful. The last few years have been very tough for our industry. Hopefully, we’ve seen the worst,” Osteen says.