The company originally started as a scrap and salvage company by Joseph Kozel in 1921. In 1946 the name was changed to J. Kozel and Son when Bernard Kozel joined his father. The firm operated as a scrap company until 1951 when it was moved to occupy a portion of its present site. Over the next ten years the company’s emphasis shifted increasingly to new steel mill products and away from scrap, resulting in the termination of scrap operations.

The company was incorporated in 1960 when Joe’s other son Burton and son-in-law Leo Cohen joined the firm. Throughout the sixties the company broadened its inventory base and its construction related expertise. With the onset of the housing boom of the sixties and early seventies, the company pioneered the use of Narrow Cab Steel-Hauler Crane Trucks to make possible the safe delivery of long beams in single pieces to individual housing and apartment sites.

The 1970s saw numerous improvements to the Scottsville Road location. Construction of the fabrication shop, two overhead craneways, the reinforcing bar production line and a new office building. The addition to the shop in 1987 doubled the size of the building and allowed the inside storage of many more steel items.

Two more craneways were added shortly thereafter to improve material handling. Throughout the 1990s the company increased its crane truck fleet to further improve service to Rochester’s homebuilders.

In 1998 two long-term employees, Ray Benoit and Jeff Loeffler, purchased the business from Burt Kozel. With their 40 years of combined experience supplying steel to residential and commercial construction, the two expanded the company’s geographical reach. From its facility in Rochester, the company began serving the Buffalo market in 1998 and the Syracuse market in 1999. By bringing our knowledge and expertise to these markets, the regions’ builders have experienced a higher level of professionalism, safety, and efficiency by having their steel delivered on crane trucks from J. Kozel & Son, Inc.

Always searching for ways to further serve our customers, the company started supplying nails and tools to framers in 1997. In 2001, J. Kozel & Son acquired Tool Ranch of Lancaster, N.Y. allowing that division to serve both areas of western NY.  Computerization of the Lancaster location combined with sharing their many years of experience boosted both locations’ operations and service levels.  A warehouse addition in 2009 made it easier to broaden the product lines and reach a larger group of subcontractors with the products they need.

Further investments in CNC machinery and software allows Kozel Steel to produce steel (10x) faster and more accurate than ever before.  It has also allowed us to expand geographically from Maine to Mississippi with the confidence that our finished product will fit together per the drawings and allow your job’s schedule to be met without a hitch.

We have also modified the software parameters of the steel CNC drill line in order to drill the beam’s wood nailer plate.  Our Bolted Wood Plate Beam product streamlines your home production by enabling the Framer to brace each beam with a couple of 2x4s nailed to the sill plate rather than an elaborate A-Frame in the basement.  They can immediately start laying out floor joists, saving them hours on the job.  Safer, faster and the elimination of a source of floor squeaks are some of the qualities of the Bolted Wood Plated Beam.  Ask your salesperson about this option and you will raise the quality of your construction, saving time and money in the process.

At the end of 2019, Ray Benoit retired and Kurt Sheflin joined the ownership ranks.  Kurt’s experience at Kozel is unparalleled.  He started in 1986 and has excelled at every job in the company.  His dedication and knowledge has made Kozel Steel the premier source of steel and related construction products in Upstate NY.

If you want your job done on time and without any callbacks, our team at Kozel Steel is ready to serve.  We look forward to quoting your next job and providing you with superior service and competence that will make us a trusted part of your subcontractor team.

In 1946 the name was changed to J. Kozel & Son when Bernard Kozel joined his father.