Go West

It was the call of adventure. America, in the mid-1860s as the Civil War ended, was ready for new life and the West, known as the Wild West, was wide open. But it was not for the faint of heart. Western pioneers had to be hardy, determined and agreeable to risk in the pursuit of life in the American frontier.

The call appealed to the daring, especially the young, “Go west, young man,” was the proclamation of the era—an advertising jingle before they knew what an advertising jingle was. And, it was effective.

We recently made a westward expansion as we acquired Cloverdale Warehouse, with food distribution warehouses in Wisconsin and Missouri.  And, yes, I am not a young man. But the excitement of geographical expansion, along with new customers and products is invigorating.

New ventures are challenging. They require change and the problem with change is that it involves the unknown. Fording rivers on the western frontier was not a scientific calculation.

That’s why it is critical to make these decisions based on the knowns, while prepping for the unknowns.  In our acquisition, the knowns were the character of Elmer and Jeffrey Burkholder, the owners of Cloverdale. As we got to know them during this process, their honesty and care for their team members and customers was evident.

We are also expanding our warehouse at Walnut Creek with a 46,000 square foot addition. If completed as scheduled in 4 months, it will bring relief to our warehouse team and buyers. We are currently utilizing trailers for extra storage.

In both these expansions, our team members are the knowns. They get the job done. When character is an unknown, the future is risky.   


-Mark Coblentz