Jefferson Door was founded in 1959 by Jack Van Dervort and Jim Ward to bring the new concept of pre-hung doors to the New Orleans market. Our business began on Cook Street in Old Gretna with only six people and 4,000 square feet of warehouse. The business grew quickly--so much so that the small warehouse was added on to four times over a span of only 10 years to a total of 27,000 square feet.
In the late 1960s, as the business continued to out-grow the space available, it became necessary to split the operation into two locations by adding a warehouse in Algiers to house our exterior door assembly.
At the time, Jefferson Door’s suppliers delivered raw materials from the Pacific Northwest by rail. As the business’s volume grew, the lack of direct railroad access at both the Cook Street and Algiers location became an obvious hindrance to continued growth. In 1973, Jefferson Door built a new 76,000 square foot warehouse on 4 acres at our current location at 1227 First Avenue in Harvey.
Jack Van Dervort’s two sons, Ward and Bob, have been active in the business their entire lives. Ward began working summers at Jefferson Door in 1967 while still in high school, and Bob began at Jefferson Door in 1980. Our founder Jack Van Dervort passed away in 1995, and Jim Ward sold his interest to the Van Dervort family in 2002. Bob and Ward continue to grow the business, which now employs over 70 people.
In 2004, Jack’s daughter, Julie, returned to work after a successful career with Entergy to lead Jefferson Door’s cabinet department. Since entering the business, Julie has brought record-breaking sales and superb customer service to our cabinet department. In addition, Ward’s two sons, Chris and Colin, are now active in the business. In 2004, Chris, a CPA, left Deloitte and Touche to bring his accounting and tax knowledge to the business. In 2007, Colin began his career at Jefferson Door in the cabinet department.