"The older the family business becomes, the more tradition tells us that failure is not an option. It's the commitment to commitment that is so deeply embedded in our roots," notes Saul Gordon.

Today, L. Gordon Iron and Metal’s current third, fourth and fifth generation employees hold the same ideals from the founding 1st and 2nd generations. Commitment begins from the ground up as all employees learn about operations working in the plant. "We've always had a hands-on approach," reveals Richard Gordon, a fourth-generation family member responsible of nonferrous operations. "We've always felt that we need to be on the job leading by example,” Richard further notes. This family philosophy has created both good family relationships and a successful business which was awarded in 1999 the mid-sized business category of the Mass Mutual National Family Business of the Year.


During the late 19th century, the first member of the Gordon family to enter into the scrap business was Harry Gordon. Louis Gordon (1899-1964) joined his father in the scrap trade in High Point, North Carolina. Then at seventeen years old in 1917, Louis moved to Statesville, North Carolina where L Gordon Iron and Metal Company started its roots.

Statesville, North Carolina has proven to be an ideal location with the intersection of Interstates I-40 and I-77 which has allowed the company to serve an extensive geographic area extending in four directions. “Our location at a crossroads helps us pull material from the Interstates in every direction,” explains Kalman Gordon, a third-generation family member.  “Statesville and our county is a base for very strong industrial growth. Our company has greatly progressed with the best modern machinery providing the best service for our customers," notes Saul.

Saul explains, “We receive automotive bodies, white goods (appliances), and industrial scrap for our shredder." The company’s purchase of a hydraulic guillotine shear in 1962 was a pioneering move in the region as was its purchase of a hydraulic material handling crane in 1972. The company’s 803 Harris shear is used to process industrial and farm scrap; as well as demolition scrap and larger truck components. “Anything the shredder can’t handle is fed to the shear,” according to Kalman Gordon.

“We have very good people with excellent safety records combined with workplace longevity,” according to Kalman Gordon.  “Quality people in our workforce attract quality applicants for the future,” adds Barry Gordon another fourth-generation family member who is in charge of ferrous operations.


In the community, the company has been active with civic groups such as the Boys and Girls Club, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Hospice. Family members have also been long-time active members serving on national boards and regional offices of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc (ISRI).

Melvin Gordon explained, “Built on six acres of land in 2004 in Statesville, the Gordon Hospice House of Iredell County was a way of giving back to the community that has provided us with so much.” Six rooms were added in 2010 in addition to the 10,500 square foot original building.

“The company makes every effort to provide excellent service. We’re friends with all of our customers, knowing them by name and inviting them to spend time visiting us in the office,” adds Barry.

“It’s all about pride in what we’re doing. We’re possibly the largest family-owned scrap metal processor in North Carolina under continuous ownership, and possibly the oldest scrap company based in the Carolinas,” says Louis Gordon, fourth-generation family member.  “In a family business, you can’t let others down. It puts a lot of pressure on us to perform, but it keeps us together as a family with a lot in common and with the same goals.”

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