SALEM - In 1953 the Lowry family opened the original Lowry Supply Hardware after founder Ray Lowry bought the old Builders Supply store.
Ten years later, Lowry switched to selling strictly industrial supplies in response to customers needs as the company focused exclusively on serving the regional industrial market. He bought Tri-Co Tool Sales in Akron in 1971, a subsidiary that today delivers the highest quality and best value to its customers.
Lowry Supply has 14 employees. It is known as a premier distributor of a wide range of industrial supplies and solutions with a customer base that includes steel mills, tool and die shops, machine shops, steel fabricators and machinery manufacturers throughout through out Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Lowry Supply Company is celebrating 60 years in business. The company grew from a hardware store into a premier regional industrial supplier that today is headquartered at 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. Lowry Supply employees, from left, Chuck Sisco, Dennis Baldwin, Diana Ferreri, John Maniscola, Jamie Shultz, Gary Sobotka, Dick Slater, Denny Donner, Gay Griehs, Dale Kuntz, Lisa Kay, Gary Eckert and Jim Knezetic. (Submitted photo)
Lowry Supply carries all grades and types of fasteners including bolts, washers, socket head cap screws, studs, anchors and along with Tri-Co Tool has a combined inventory exceeding $2 million. The company had grown exponentially over the years with current sales reaching more than $7 million annually.
"We have weathered recent downturns in the economy and continued to grow, said company president Gary Sobotka.
The company stocks all grades and types of nuts, bolts, washers, socket products and fasteners that are available in all steel grades as well as stainless steel, brass and bronze. Special fasteners are "made to print" and quick delivery is a Lowry Supply specialty as the company covers a 60-mile radius around Salem while representing top fastener companies such as Infasco, Kerr Lakeside, Nucor and Unbrako.
For the abrasives line, Lowry suppliers include Arc, Boride, Merit and Radiac and for precision tools, Lowry supplies products made by Starrett, Fowler, Brown & Sharp and Mitutoyo.
Abrasive products include grinding and cut off wheels, coated abrasives, polishing stone and diamond products and the precision measuring equipment with calipers, indicators, micrometers, rules and all the gages are available.
"We select quality products from the best manufacturers in the industry and deliver the right products at the right time to fit the needs of each of our valued customers." Sobotka said.
The company attended the Shale Expo at the Youngstown Covelli Centre in September, a move that Sobotka said gave it a "little exposure."
While Lowry won't see much direct sales from the so-called shale boom, Sobotka said by supplying nuts and bolts for pipe coupling companies there is an "indirect" benefit to consider.
While 80 percent of Lowry customers prefer to have their supplies delivered, many pick them up in Salem and or the Tri-Co Tool location in Cuyahoga Falls.
The Tri-Co division specializes in all types of cutting tools including HSS drills, endmills, carbide and HSS taps, carbide inserts, indexable cutters and drills.
Cutting tools suppliers include Tungaloy, SGS, Greenfield, Manchester and Weldon.
"Our customers know they can depend on us to keep their production line running," Sobotka said.
Lowry Supply also provides special services including tool repair and grinding services and a Customizable Inventory Management Program with vending machines to fit each client's specific needs and fields an experienced staff of problem solvers
The company believes there is no substitute for hands-on-expertise developed through years of working in the industry and providing solutions for customers.
Lowry Supply designs their unique value-added solutions around the customer, becoming partners in addressing the demands of today's dynamic business environment.
"We have very knowledgeable people with a great work ethic and that is out company's greatest strength," Sobotka said,