Bob Boyes has been in the timber industry for almost 40 years. With his father Henry, Bob started a logging operation in the Casino district, supplying treated pines to sawmills in Wyan, Casino, Grafton, Kyogle, Leeville and Ballina. When Henry retired, Bob continued the operation, with his wife Betty providing support.
In 1994, an opportunity arose, to purchase one of the sawmills that was Bob supplying. Bob and Betty seized that opportunity to diversify and bought the sawmill, located in Ballina. This was the foundation of B & B Timbers Ballina, which commenced business on July 4, 1994. The original saw-only mill was quickly augmented by Bob and Betty to incorporate a CCA treatment plant, planing and finishing equipment to produce value added moulded dressed products and a lattice manufacturing facility. Untreated waste products were turned into woodchips for the export market. By 1998, the ever-increasing distance between forest and mill was making the Ballina mill uneconomical. The costs of transporting unsawn logs, long distances to the mill to be sawn, was pricing B & B Timbers out of the market. A business study, commissioned by Bob, had showed that the Ballina area could support a business specialising in timber fencing and landscaping products.
Bob and Betty made the hard decision to phase out the milling operation, and decided instead, to focus on value-added products. They would purchase sawn timber from mills closer to the forest resources and concentrate on the treatment, finishing and manufacture of timber products. They invested in more machinery and processes that enabled them to manufacture and sell a wider and wider variety of timber landscaping and fencing products.