Harbor Wholesale and Rich and Rhine Wholesale Enter into Agreement to Explore Potential Partnership
The Northwest’s top two independent convenience distributors are exploring a merger between their successful family owned companies.

Harbor Wholesale and Rich and Rhine Wholesale Enter into Agreement to Explore Potential Partnership

January 29, 2021

The Northwest’s top two independent convenience distributors are exploring a merger between their successful family-owned companies.  Justin Erickson, CEO of Harbor Foods Group states, “After several discussions with Robert Krupp (Chairman at Rich & Rhine), we realized that our vision for the convenience industry and strong values-based leadership were well aligned towards common future goals and opportunities.  We share a common passion for building an organization where our team members can be successful while being 100% focused on our customers’ success.” 

Harbor Wholesale operates distribution centers in Lacey, WA and Roseburg, OR.  The partnership with Rich & Rhine would provide Harbor with an opportunity to establish a Portland, OR “hub” to service the more densely populated markets in NW Oregon and SW Washington.  Robert Krupp states, “As we continued down the path of successfully growing our business, we realized that substantial capital investment would be necessary to support our customers’ expansion into foodservice, fresh foods, branded programs, and new technologies.  Our partnership with Harbor would allow us to accomplish these goals by leveraging Harbor’s existing infrastructure in a number of these areas.” 

Rich & Rhine and Harbor would conduct business as usual with Rich & Rhine operated independently and led by the current leadership team, including Ron Squires as President.  Erickson states, “In our 98 years of doing business, we’ve found only one true competitive advantage in this industry: our people.  We look forward to collaborating with the Rich & Rhine team so our collective knowledge, experience, and creativity can explore new and innovative ways to serve our customers better than ever.” 

The combined companies would serve nearly 4,000 independent retailers throughout the Northwest.  The collective buying power of the combined businesses would bring new opportunities for customers to enhance their profitability while enjoying the service they’ve come to expect from the excellent people representing Rich & Rhine and Harbor. 

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Posted on: January 29, 2021
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Posted on: January 29, 2021
This year has been extremely challenging with the pandemic and hurdles that it has created. A big percentage of the Northern sales team success is Canadian traffic, colleges, and seasonal vacationing in the northern Seattle area. The borders have been shut down, college campuses closed, and ferries empty which has created a big challenge for the team. The LDC-North team worked hard with their accounts on Harbor’s initiatives that were created to help out customers in every way possible to get through these uncharted waters. They maximized on the following initiatives during Covid the lockdowns: CSI (Customer Support Initiative)The team helped educate stores on curbside pick up, call in ordering and creating social media pages for their locations. This was proven to be very successful for the northern territories. Clean Store InitiativeThey helped provide cleaning products, tools, advertising, and education to their customers to help promote a clean and safe shopping experience for the consumers. Teresa Nixon got up early every day, checking what was in stock to let her customers know what options were hard to get items. She also focused on Harbor’s social media initiative, assisting customers in getting pages created so they could reach their customers through social media and their websites. She sent customers images of Harbor’s coffee programs and Mountain Fresh products so customers had content to post. She has worked hard to make suggestions for stores so they can be more COVID-19 compliant and supplied cleaning products to help stores follow through on the clean store initiative. John Gasche helped customers put together curb side pickup programs. He also helped his customers get on social media to advertise their businesses, and new programs. This also helped customers alert consumers when hard to get items were in stock. He brought a sense of normalcy to his customers during a very difficult time, always bringing a positive attitude to work each day. Dan Rochon worked with his customers to find replacements for items that were out of stock, ensuring that customers could continue through foodservice programs through the pandemic. Jennifer Radvanyi also worked on getting substitute products to her customers. She stayed in close contact socially with all her accounts during the lockdown to provide support and service where possible. Matthew Childs saw how people can come together in hard times, and always reminded customers we will get through this. Each store had different protocols that aligned with state mandates, and he worked with each of his customers to ensure all precautions were being taken. Thank you to the LDC-North Sales Team for ensuring our customers are taken care of each and every day! *Please note some photos were taken pre-covid.