History of Johns Building Supply
Johns Building Supply was founded in 1948 by John and Helen Koziara, the current president’s mother and father. Using their own money and with the help of local banks they purchased land on Crane Avenue. We are still at this location today. With service, honesty and integrity, John and Helen built Johns Building Supply into one of the premier concrete products manufacturers in Berkshire County and beyond.
In 1948, Johns brought the first concrete block machine to Berkshire County. In order to keep up with demand, this was quickly followed by a newer machine in 1953 that was 30% more productive.
In 1975, Bill, the current president, graduated from college and began his career in the concrete and landscape industry. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Bill brought in new equipment in 1981 to further expand production capacity. He also added a wider variety of products such as stone for building and pavers, thinsets, cleaners, and high-quality masonry tools.
In the late 1980s, Bill’s sister Joan joined the company and worked in accounting and sales until her retirement in 2014. During this period Johns continued to grow and the late 1990s brought the Versa-Lok franchise to Pittsfield. Versa-Lok is a premium segmental retaining wall block made in blended and solid colors. It was mainly used in commercial projects, but has now become a mainstay for small and medium home projects.
The early 2000s brought more change in the form of tumbled retaining wall block. Johns became the number one producer in the Northeast for tumbled Versa-Lok. Along with retaining wall material, Johns saw great growth in retail and contractor sales. This was mainly due to the extensive inventory of man-made and natural stone, as well as, concrete and clay pavers.
In October 0f 2021 Johns opened our new ACE hardware store across the street from our original location in our new state of the art building. In adding ACE to our brands, we are now able to offer much more when it comes to home improvement products including Dewalt, Milwaukee and Craftsman tools. Ben Moore, Clark & Kensington, Magnolia and MinWax paints and stains. For your lawn we carry EGO, MIlwaukee, and Mean Green commercial mowers, and all the accessories to keep your lawn green all summer long.
Through the years, the Koziara family has strived to stay active in the local community by donating material for dugouts and concession stands throughout Berkshire County, as well as, sponsoring local youth teams. The company has also donated tools to Berkshire Mission for their projects throughout Central and South America. The goal for the Koziara family has remained the same since its inception: “Make a difference, help others and treat people as you would want to be treated.”
Founder John Koziara with original block machine and John Skuman in 1956.
Most 6 year olds get toys. Buster got a new block machine in 1962 pictured here with Vincent Struzzi and his son Vincent on the trailer.