Call a wholesaler like Aetna Plywood (Chicago area), and see if they can tell you of a few local lumber yards/millwork shops they sell to. www.aetnaplywood.com
I don't think Aetna Plywood sells to the public. Find out where cabinet makers get their wood. Sorry to say, you'd be hard pressed to find quality anything at Lowes (not familiar with Menards). Even ask a trim carpenter.
What kind of projects?
I prefer loccally owned lumber yards and rarely buy from the big boxes
Ive built a buffet, china cabinet, media center, beds i'm working on a faux fireplace 6 ft book shelves wall shelves
See if you have a Rockler nearby. Any time we've needed qualitiy wood, that's where we go. Lowes is fine for framing (although it's tough to even find straight studs there), but furniture building requires much higher quality and higher priced materials. If you don't have a Rocklers, google "Woodworking Supplies" for your area. Good luck!