Let’s travel back in time. It’s 1946 and Camille Pepin recently returned to Woonsocket. An Army veteran of World War II, he was wounded while fighting in France and earned the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Combat Infantry Badge.
Cam was ready to get on with his life and eventually teamed with his dad to open Pepin Lumber in a small garage on Winthrop street in the city. In 1953, the business moved to its current location on Cumberland Hill Road.
Cam’s wife Jeanne helped out in the business while raising their six children. The kids worked in the store at one time or another and today…66 years later, five of the children along with Jeanne, own and operate the business.
Over the years Mr. Pepin developed a legacy not only of running a successful lumber yard, but also of charity and community involvement.
Here are a few examples:
A 16-year old boy came into the store to buy a circular saw as a Father’s Day present for his dad. The boy didn’t have enough money to buy a good model.
So Cam opened a small charge account for the boy so he could by his dad that circular saw.
Today that 16-year old boy is in his 50s, owns his own business and has never forgotten Cam’s kindness.
When one of the largest businesses in Woonsocket was just starting out, Cam personally drove his forklift to the Woonsocket Industrial Park and unloaded steel for a large building that still stands today. That company’s name is CVS.
When one of Pepin Lumber’s competitors fell on hard times and needed help with their deliveries, Mr. Pepin offered his truck and driver and never asked for compensation.
Cam Pepin has helped many businesses and tradesmen over the years by providing them with referrals and sending business their way.