Written by The Business Journal Staff
President | Salter’s Distributing, Inc.
Education: Davis High School, Modesto | Age: 50
Family: Wife, Cheryl, kids Tiffany, Amber, Alex and Samantha.
What are the origins of Salter’s Distributing?
We started as a toy company. Now we have grown to carry several thousand different items including: toys, work gloves, hats and ball caps, batteries, stationery, pet supplies, cell phone accessories, mops and brooms, health and beauty supplies, summer inflatables and toys, winter hats and gloves, sunglasses, reading glasses, NFL items and more. We distribute to over 1,800 grocery stores, hardware stores, convenience stores and resorts in the Central Valley and the Central Coast.
What are some of the ways that Salter’s has been growing?
We grow each year through referrals. Our customers buy new stores or their friends and relatives buy new stores and call us to fill their racks. We also call on stores in person to introduce our company and see if we have anything they need.
What are some of the biggest challenges that come with operating in California?
Gas prices and increasing minimum wage.
What are a few of the most heavily requested items in your inventory?
El Toro work gloves, headwear and toys.
How did Salter’s Distributing get into hats and gloves?
I was having trouble finding high-quality gloves with correct sizing at good prices. I decided to create my own line and work directly with manufacturers. I source from a variety of manufacturers and was able to put together a great line.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Travel and hang out with family.
What are your roots in the Central Valley?
I grew up in Modesto, went to high school there, became a father there. I later moved to Fresno to begin my own business. From there I bought a warehouse in Madera Ranchos where we operated for 17 years. In 2017, I was able to purchase a property in Chowchilla with 50,000 square feet of warehouses on 10 acres. We now have more room to continue growing.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
My first professional job was with San Joaquin Valley Sales in Modesto. I started by blowing up balls in their warehouse. I then moved onto a delivery truck and learned how to merchandise racks in retail stores.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
I had a customer tell me to buy your own warehouse and bring in your own products. Otherwise, you have to depend on other people for your success.