John William “Bill” Lucas & his wife Ruth moved from Malden MA in 1950 to Azusa CA where he got employment as a night watchman at Consolidated Rock Products in Irwindale CA. From there he moved up to the scale house, dispatcher, rock and sand sales, Specialty Plant sales and eventually to the sales district manager position of the Specialty Plant.
Consolidated Rock changed names to ConRock and again to CalMat, until was acquired by Vulcan Material. In 1971 CalMat made the decision to shut down the Specialty Plant and concentrate on large infrastructure projects. (ConRock Spec Sheet from 1965)
Here, Bill saw an opportunity to open a business, one that he knew well, and already had an existing customer base.
So the gamble was made with his retirement savings and a SBA guaranteed loan. Sons Wayne and Dana operated the plant and Ruth did the bookkeeping. From day one the business was in the black and the SBA loan was paid off years early.
The business thrived in Irwindale until 1977, when it was faced with condemnation and relocation via the CRA (community redevelopment act). This allows the local government to take your land/business and give it to a business that will provide the city with a higher tax base. A legal battle ensued. This led to the relocation of Lucas Specialty Rock to Fontana. Bill and Ruth retired in 1980 after the relocation.
Soon after Bill and Ruth were awarded, by the Southern California Roofing Contractors Association, the Roofing Hall of Fame Award, for their achievements within the roofing industry.
The company is now entering its 3rd generation and going strong.
Opened first plant on 1 acre in Irwindale CA.
The only products sold were #5 (1/4”), 4/5, #4 (3/8”) and 5/8” ASTM D1863 granite., both in 80lbs bags & pneumatic tankers for rooftop delivery. Our market was aggregate for built-up roofing.
Relocated to 10 acres in Fontana CA.
Being near the Kaiser Steel plant, we added roofing slag.
Begin packaging 3M roofing granules, competing head to head with 3M on their own product. Our niche was the roofing supplier and contractor selling pallets & truckloads. 3M’s niche is major roofing manufacturers via rail cars.
3M eventually discontinued their sacking operation in California.
Added granule color blending and 6lb-6 pack bottles
Started CalCant, manufacturing perlite and fiberboard roofing cant strip, tapered edge & tapered systems.
Acquired Cant Strip Corp of America