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BTY is Ceres only location for rock, concrete
Thornberrys carry on family tradition with third-generation cement business in Ceres
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Nick, Ken and Ryan Thornberry stand by the only concrete by the trailer facility in Ceres. Located at 4107 Morgan Road just east of the Ceres wastewater treatment plant, the BTY Concrete & Materials yard is convenient for most in Ceres.

Trucks routinely pull in and out of the yard at 4107 Morgan Road to pick up road base materials used for street paving projects in the area. The BTY Concrete & Materials yard is also the only place in Ceres - now that Ceres Porta-Mix Concrete near Highway 99 has closed - for do-it-yourselfers who want to pick up ready-mix concrete by the yard. The business, owned by the well-known Thornberry family of Ceres, also sells sand, bark, river rock, crushed gravel and topsoil for landscaping.

BTY (By The Yard) is the new name for an operation that started as D&L Concrete 20 years ago by Ken Thornberry and now being carried on by sons Nick and Ryan Thornberry. Ken actually took on D&L Concrete from his dad, Marshall Thornberry Jr. who came to Ceres in 1963.

"Dad is grooming us to take it over," said Nick Thornberry, who gave up a management job with UPS about a month ago to work the yard. "He's teaching us slowly but surely everything that he knows."

The Thornberry brothers have all grown up in Ceres and attended Ceres High School where Ryan was a standout golfer. Ryan has been with the yard for over a year.

The yard's location is perfect in that it is upwind from the Ceres wastewater treatment plant across the street and downwind from homes on the north of Service Road, making it very convenient but out of the way of city living.

The firm's largest volume of sales is in base rock sold to contract pavers within 20 miles.

"All of the roads paved in Ceres recently, more or less, the base rock is probably come out of here," said Nick.

Homeowners with a trailer hitch can travel to the yard, back up for a trailer filled with ready-mix concrete and take off for weekend projects at home like patios and sidewalks. Deliveries of materials are also made for those who don't have vehicles.

"We don't have a minimum," said Nick. "We'll deliver a half a yard if you want us to, however we charge an hourly fee to deliver. We'll do whatever we need to do to get the job done. If you come in and say ‘I want a bucket load,' I'll deliver your bucket load. If you come in and say ‘I want 500 yards,' we'll figure out a way to get that too."

Recently Ryan accommodated a homeowner who only needed two wheelbarrows full of mixed concrete. They were propped up in the back of the man's pickup.

Cost for materials varies. A half-yard of mixed concrete with trailer runs $85 while a full yard is $125. Pea gravel is $25 for a half-yard or $38 for a full yard. Walk-on bark runs $27 for a half-yard or $42 for a full yard.

Since it recycles aggregate products, the business also accepts broken concrete and broken roof tiles. The material is grinded up in a large crusher and mixed together to become Caltrans graded base rock for road projects. Cal Crush out of Ripon operates the crusher in the yard.

"It was a great partnership from the get-go," said Nick.

The business also accepts extra dirt from the public.

BTY Concrete is open 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information call 538-8492 or visit