Jeffrey De Ponte, CEO of Exhibit Supply, cuts the ribbon on his new facility in Fresno. Photo by Frank Lopez
Written by Frank Lopez
A business transplant just opened its doors and two local chambers helped celebrate the opening day.
Exhibit Supply celebrated its grand opening Friday with help from The Fresno and Clovis Chambers of Commerce.
Exhibit Supply is an advertising company in Fresno at 225 N. Gateway Blvd., Space 101, that makes customized canopies, display booths, fabric displays, table skins, flags and tradeshow counters. It is located near Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
Jeffrey De Ponte, CEO of Exhibit Supply, said the original plan was to open up in the Bay Area last year, but the pandemic changed things.
There was always a plan to have a distribution center here, but then De Ponte decided to move all operations to Fresno.
Exhibit Supply has operated since 2017 as part the tradeshow division of Stay Tooned Print, a graphic printing company in Hayward
In 2019, De Ponte incorporated Exhibit Supply to be its own business.
“We had a three- to five-year plan to open up a distribution center in Fresno, and then we thought, lets just go there,” De Ponte said. “It’s centrally located. We are growing a lot in Southern California, so being in Northern California makes it hard to compete. All of our competition is in the south, so this place will allow us to serve the whole state better.”
The central location gives them “next day ground” capabilities in California and even Reno, Nevada.
De Ponte said the Central Valley has lower commercial property prices and offers significant sales tax savings compared to the Bay Area.
He also said that there is a more eager workforce here in the Central Valley where individuals are more likely to want to stay with a company for a while and help it grow — a mindset De Ponte said he doesn’t see as much in workers in the Bay Area.
“We just want to grow and we are in the place to do it. Fresno isn’t just the place to grow vegetables — it’s the place to grow businesses too,” De Ponte said.
Greg Newman, president and CEO of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, said that, after a long year of Covid-19 lockdowns, it was good to be able to host ribbon cuttings again.
“We are thrilled to start ribbon cuttings again,” Newman said. “We’ve got a full slate for the rest of the year and we are excited that our business community is opening back up. We are ready to get back out there and rebuild our business community.”