Jordan girls are the third generation to lead historic Stockyards Ranch Supply
Tom C. Jordan worked for Barr Lumber in the early 1950s and when the company opened Stockyards Lumber in a second location, he managed that store. It was located not far from the Colorado’s Denver Union Stock Yard Company which was still a major cattle, sheep and hog market utilized by growers around the state and region. The lumber company did a brisk business serving livestock producers when they came to the city to market or purchase stock. He purchased it in 1962 from Bill Barr and added an agriculture component, and it became Stockyards Lumber and Ranch Supply.
In 1970, Jordan purchased the current property off Highway 85 in Commerce City, Colo., for $36,000 and his son Tom H. joined the business right out of high school. When Tom C. retired in 2010, his son led the company. His daughters, Katy Sjaardema and Anna Jordan, spent weekends and summers dusting and organizing shelves, and completing other tasks from a very young age and both joined the company full-time, also right out of school. Their grandfather and father both believed in the value of learning the business from the ground up and, as Anna said, believe it’s better to make money than spend it. Katy said she remembers running the payroll with her grandfather and learning at his elbow for many of the jobs she completes today.
“My dad was very much like his own father,” Katy said. “They were stern and decisive, but they were also very understanding, always wanted to hear someone else’s side about growing a business, especially when it came to my sister’s ideas.”
Anna, who is the current president of the company, integrated technology into the company’s operations, though she’s quick to point out that the tickets are still handwritten just as they were on a 1950s-era roller machine in the beginning days of the company.
The company enjoys a long family history on both sides of the counter, still serving many of the same families that originally supported the family in business. Tom C. passed away in 2012 and Tom H. recently passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 23, 2022. Though the transition has been challenging, Katy and Anna are determined to carry the business into the future while standing on the solid foundation of history and tradition built by the Jordan family.
“We’re a family business,” Katy said. “We want to treat our employees the same way. We have employees who have worked here for 25 years, and one who just celebrated his 30-year- anniversary with us.”
She said many customers come in and tell them stories of knowing their grandfather at the original location and others who are continuing their own family tradition of shopping where their parents and grandparents shopped.
Anna said she also remembers learning not only about the business from her grandfather and father, but also about agriculture. Her dad shared a love of Mooney airplanes with Denver farm broadcaster Evan Slack, and she said she remembers attending the National Western Stock Show and eating lunch at the National Western Club with Slack and other ag producers.
“We’re not like some third generations that have the chance to come into the family business and they don’t want it and so they’re no longer in business,” she said. “Anna and I are going to break that trend and prove that some millennials are willing and wanting to work and do better.”