Founded on October 28, 1994 by Chuck Blumer, Charles E. Blumer Company (the E' is for Eric in case you were wondering) is involved in the sales and marketing of refrigerated and frozen product lines for Retail, Food Service and Further Processing.
Chuck started out working alone in the basement of his father's house, using used equipment (phone fax and copier) donated by some of his friends. The copier donated was from the turn of the century and was too big to even get down the basement stairs. It was hooked up in the garage and copies would be made by running up the stairs and outside to the garage. During the first winter, when the copier would warm up, the glass would fog up giving an out of focus look to all of our copies. We finally convinced Xerox to lease us a low end commercial copier to take the trip down the stairs to the basement, and Chuck saved about a mile of stair climbing a day.
Chuck spent hours on the phone and at his computer terminal calling and writing to packer after packer begging for a chance to sell their product lines. Slowly but surely, he amassed six or seven principles to represent and he got busy building his businesses.
It was very difficult in the beginning and although we had the support of some wonderful companies like Swift & Company and Biery Cheese Company, by May of 1995 the company was just about out of money. Chuck was trying to decide how to contact each of his packers and customers to tell them how much he appreciated their support but that things just did not work out when . . . . BAM!! A big commission check came in and the company was rolling. What a relief! Since then we have never looked back.
The company was becoming busier and busier through the Spring and early Summer months of 1995 until Chuck could no longer handle all of the business alone. On August 5, 1995 Donna Cressman and Rita Carbonara, both former co-workers of Chuck's joined the company. Donna filled the roll of Office Manager and Rita, with years of experience merchandising the fresh meat case at Retail level, assumed the position of Senior Retail Merchandiser.
With this extra help, our business exploded. The orders came rolling in and it seemed that new packers were calling on a weekly basis to see if we would be interested in representing their lines. We looked at each one and tried to stay focused on what got us to where we were. The lines of product which did not fit in to our areas of expertise, we decided not to handle. The lines of product which were items conforming to the type of business we do, we reviewed for quality, consistency, competitive pricing and the level of service the packer would offer our valued customers. Those packers which seemed to be a good fit we would give a try. We are pleased to report that there was only one packer we took on which we had to resign due to poor product quality and poor service. Our track record has been pretty good.
1995 came to a close and while we were about thirty thousand dollars in the hole in May, we rebounded and only showed a loss of about three thousand dollars by year end.
We added two more people to our company in January, 1996, one in March, one in April and two more in September of 1996. Our businesses continues to grow each month and although we have had minor setbacks, the general direction of our company has been forward.
Aside from the quality people working together to make our company grow, there is one individual, working for one of our biggest principles who had faith in Chuck's vision from the very beginning. This visionary individual is Mr. David Heggestad of Swift & Company Fresh Pork Division. Swift at that time, had only one broker in the entire country selling Fresh Pork. Mr. Heggestad, along with Mr. Brad Lorenger, Vice President of Retail Pork Sales for Swift decided to give Chuck an opportunity to go to work promoting Swift & Company Fresh Pork.
Swift & Company is part of the Con Agra family of companies, a multi-billion dollar corporation. With their support and guidance, Charles E. Blumer Company gained respect and recognition. There were other companies and individuals who took a chance with us and have reaped the benefits of doing so. We do a better job with some of our principles and customers than we do with others, but the list of people who have helped give us a boost is too long to mention here. Suffice to say that we are all grateful for their support and confidence. We work hard each day to ensure that the confidence they have placed in our abilities is justified, week in and week out.
At the Charles E. Blumer Company, it has been, is now and will always be our goal to be the standard by which all of our packers and customers judge all other sales and marketing organizations they do business with. We operate with professionalism, confidence and a total understanding of the products we represent and how they fit in to the scheme of business being completed every day by our customers. Our philosophy is to do the business we do properly, completely and professionally. We believe that by doing things this way, the volume will come to us because our packers and customers alike, know we will do the job right, the first time. There are problems in every business. Our goal is to keep problems to a minimum and keep smiles to a maximum.
The proof of the benefit of this philosophy is in the fact that following just our second year in business, we will write just shy of four hundred million dollars in sales! That is a four with (count em) eight zeros after it!! Not too bad for a company which moved out of the basement this past July. This level of sales will generate about half a million dollars in gross commissions for this year, and we are still growing.
If you are a company involved in the Dairy, Deli, Meat or Provision business and you are in search of an aggressive, brand oriented brokerage company for the Eastern Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia markets, please give us a call. We would appreciate your interview.
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