Proudly serving the construction needs of the Pacific Northwest since 1907, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel carves out long-lasting relationship with L&M Construction Chemicals

In 1907, Samuel Nerdrum Sr. and his partner, Henry Strand, stand outside their “spacious” new office.

There aren't too many companies these days that can boast having been in business since 1907. Just the longevity of that claim and its historical background says a lot in terms of who that company is today.

When Samuel Nerdrum Sr. founded the company, the Ballard area of Seattle was still the city of Ballard. Huge cedar trees dotted the skyline and three-masted wooden sailing schooners jammed the harbors of what would eventually become of the largest and busiest seaports in the world. Nerdrum instinctively knew this place was going to grow and flourish and it was a good time to start a construction materials business in the prosperous Scandinavian logging and fishing community located on the shores of Salmon Bay.

The company's first major project was to supply construction materials to the history-making Alaska 1907 Yukon Exposition. This was the catalyst that launched the company's first big growth spurt.

In 1920, drivers sit proudly in their heavy duty trucks which were chain driven with featured rubber tires.

These were times of huge growth and economic optimism. Many businesses were founded and many failed. Salmon Bay S&G flourished due to its focus on the construction industry and its ability to procure and distribute materials on time and on demand.

At that time, there were no Ballard Locks or shipping canals to barge large quantities of aggregates, sand, plaster and stone necessary to support the burgeoning outpost in the northwest. So, enormous amounts of sand and gravel were brought into Salmon Bay at high tide and hand-loaded onto horse-drawn wagons for the arduous trip to the exposition site. The original buildings still stand as an active and historic part of The University of Washington campus, a proud legacy to the hard work of Nerdrum's sweat, tenacity and dedication to get the job done. Over the next 100+ years, Salmon Bay S&G has survived and evolved into one of the Northwest's largest suppliers of construction materials. The company specializes in all types of concrete and trowel trade supplies, including waterproofing and restoration products, sealants, grouts, decorative concrete products, concrete repair products, form release agents and a complete line of masonry finishing tools and products.

Today's modern concrete mixer trucks can carry up to 10 tons of concrete. These heavy duty trucks have six axles, which distribute the approximately 70,000 lbs to meet the weight requirements of Seattle's city streets.

Today, Salmon Bay S&G is run and managed by CEO, Paul Cochran, son-in-law of Sam Nerdrum Jr., who, now in his 80's, still works regularly at Salmon Bay S&G. This marks the third generation of this hard-working and dedicated family business. Well known in this region, the Nerdrums are respected for their honesty, integrity and tireless Scandinavian work ethic.

L&M is proud to be part of Salmon Bay's success over the years...but more proud to give the company products that work and sales and technical representation and delivery that they can trust. L&M's sales manager is Bill Pavitt and his key contact with Salmon Bay S&G is outside sales and product specialist, Valeri Boché. Valeri and Bill work closely to meet the needs of her customer's jobs. Supplying SBS&G with well-respected L&M products that fit the job and trades.

Valeri has been in the Ready-Mix and concrete construction for 25 years. When this author asked if she had to struggle to penetrate the mostly male dominated concrete construction world, Boché said, “No, not really. It took me about 4 or 5 years to get confident in the construction supplier business and work in this industry. In the early years though, I was tested every day in many different ways. I just had to roll with the punches and deliver professionally and treat everyone like I wanted to be treated. I love working with people on all levels. I think I have gained and earned that respect in order to be effective. Both Salmon Bay and L&M are great to do business with.”

Valeri continued, “Bill Pavitt and I have a great working relationship. Bill and L&M have always been there for me and for Salmon Bay S&G. He also has a good relationship with many of the architects and engineers in my area. Bill earned a lot of respect in the construction industry and is quick to solve problems and distribution issues. He and I actually helped create the L&M DURACRETE product for a unique application project up here. Bill held everyone's hand along the way and, through his tenacity, eventually, the DURACRETE product came to be.

I absolutely LOVE DURACRETE. The product is one of my favorite products to sell. I have found many contractor venues for DURACRETE overlays in the decorative area and other unique applications. I also like the way Bill works with all of us here at Salmon Bay in terms of product training and demonstrations. L&M has earned a lot of respect over the years by being a company that offers a lot of training and product knowledge sessions, it's helped me personally to better represent their products to my customers. I also like the EMERYTOP product and I feel there's a big market for it to be successful.”

To reach Salmon Bay S&G, visit their website at or call 1-800-774-8999. Their direct line is 206-784-1234. To reach Valeri Boché, call her direct at 206-730-2941.

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© 2012 L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. | ConcreteNews Summer 2012.

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