Don’t look for lumber supplies at Aloha Lumber & Truss, Inc. in Ramona.

You won’t find stacks of wood for sale at 1339 Walnut St. but you can get assistance for all things truss-related from new owners, Paul and Andrea Stykel.

The Stykels purchased the business from former owners Scott Eskridge and Jon Lazarus, who ran it for nearly 20 years. The sale was finalized April 30 and the Stykels took over May 1.

“We thought there might be a chance we would branch out into lumber but we never did,” said Lazarus, explaining the company name.

Aloha Lumber & Truss’s new owners Andrea and Paul Stykel are planning to keep the business the same.

(Courtesy Andrea Stykel)

Eskridge says their specialty is designing, manufacturing and delivering trusses, which he describes as giant triangles that form the structure for building roofs.

Eskridge has worked in the building industry since 1975 and Lazarus has been in it since 1981. Early in their career, their specialty was framing at job sites throughout Southern California.

“We were interested in building roof trusses and we just started pursuing it and changed direction from framing,” Eskridge said. “Once we started doing it, we discovered we enjoyed it and that there was a market for it. We couldn’t be a framing contractor and roof truss manufacturer at the same time. We had to pick one, so we chose trusses.”

Lazarus and Eskridge have grown their business over the years. They attribute their success to having a quality product, solid business reputation and customer satisfaction.

“We started off very small and we pride ourselves on having happy customers,” Eskridge said.

The company delivers trusses throughout San Diego and southern Riverside counties. Most of the customers are homeowners, remodelers, framing contractors and general contractors. One of the larger customers is a building materials supplier in Mexico, the former owners said.

Lately, the business has been expanding in the area of building and supplying trusses for accessory dwelling units, known as ADUs, which Lazarus and Eskridge attribute to housing shortages, particularly rental units in the San Diego region.

The duo are leaving the business on a high note. Fallbrook resident Eskridge, 70, is retiring and plans to travel with his wife after a career spanning 52 years. And Lazarus, 63, will have more time to build his own custom single-story home in the Four Corners area of Ramona.

“That house has been on my mind for 30 years,” said Lazarus, a Lemon Grove area resident. “The trusses are sitting on the property. The whole roof is made of trusses, there’s no rafter.”

Eskridge and Lazarus are sticking around for a while to help the Stykels transition into their new business. Paul is on-site while Andrea works as a Realtor at Re/Max Direct in Ramona.

Paul Stykel has worked in the construction industry since 1976.

“In the beginning it was all framing construction,” he said. “We built a lot of homes together, myself and Andrea, in Ramona.”

In 1991, Stykel said he went to work for his first large company where he built large-scale projects, some of which were for military customers and public works customers. As a construction manager, his projects included building libraries, senior living facilities and airplane hangars. His last large-scale project was a 1.8 million-square-foot distribution center, he said.

A number of these projects were in different areas of California and Nevada, which took him away from home frequently, he said. At age 65, he said he wants to stay in Ramona with his wife and devote more time to community service, such as serving on the Ramona Community Planning Group.

Andrea Stykel is a director for the Ramona Chamber of Commerce.

“I didn’t want to travel anymore,” said Paul Stykel, a Planning Group member for 18 years. “And I can stay on the Planning Group. I didn’t attend a couple of meetings because I was out of town. I was always traveling for construction jobs. Staying in Ramona was a motivator for buying the business.”

Eskridge and Lazarus said the couple’s community connections will be a plus in helping them attract local customers. For now there are no plans to hire more employees or change the business name, they said.

Some may wonder about the company name, which might seem out of place in Ramona. Aloha Lumber & Truss is connected to Eskridge’s hobby of carving tikis from palm tree logs and making chainsaw carvings. When it came time to name their business, someone suggested Tiki Truss.

“Someone else said, how about aloha, and we liked that,” Eskridge said. “It was one of the first businesses listed in the phone book when people used to use phone books and it’s easy to remember. You can’t say ‘aloha’ without smiling.”