Wooster’s Friendly Wholesale has new owners to help the business thrive

The Main Building, OB (Other Buildings), State Building, and Sales Building are the four structures.

Plocki, his partner Austin Miller and managing director Jeremy Menegay have only been in charge of the business for a few weeks, so they haven’t had much time to come up with more formal titles for the buildings, which total 72,000 square feet. squares. .

And, “probably NB, New Building,” says Friendly Wholesale’s new owner, Matt Plocki, with a laugh, there could be another in the next few years.

The huge multi-storey Friendly Wholesale building on Cushman Street, seen from the Wooster railway line in recent times. The new owners of Friendly Wholesale call it the main building. On the Friendly Wholesale complex, there are four buildings.

Plocki, who has run a similar business in Pittsburgh for about 20 years, said, “We are retaining and expanding staff here in Wooster. “We currently have 22 full-time employees and plan to grow to around 30 in the next two years.”

No matter what the buildings are called, the ambitions they have for the 72-year-old construction utility on downtown Cushing Street are no joke.

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George Selders started Friendly Wholesale in 1950 as a general wholesale business in the main building, which was built in the 1890s and housed a few shops before Selders took it over, including a wooden toy factory, according to his daughter Joann Davidson. who worked in the family business for much of his life.

Davidson said as her father grew the business, he bought the State Building, which she says Ohio State used as a warehouse, and the Vending Building, and built the other building. . When Davidson began taking over the business with her husband Mark in the 1990s, when her father went into semi-retirement and after his death in the 2000s, she focused on making disposable foodservice and janitorial supplies for other businesses, schools and churches. produced regularly.

Austin Miller and Matt Plocki are the new owners of Friendly Wholesale in Wooster. You are in a large warehouse with pallets of items ready to be shipped to customers. It is one of three buildings they call the OB (Other Building) on ​​the Friendly Wholesale Campus that is used for excess inventory. The buildings they call State Building and Vending Building also contain excess inventory. The new ownership group will continue to focus on Davidson and eventually add new products.

“In Pittsburgh, we’re the largest supplier of coffee on the East Coast, and we’d love to get those products here in central Ohio,” said Plocki, who plans to buy a condo or a townhouse in the area so he could divide his time between Wooster and Pittsburgh. He also owns a restaurant plumbing business in the Pittsburgh area. There’s also a walk-in showroom in Friendly Wholesale’s main building, which makes up about 10% of its store, Plocki said.

Plocki’s partner, Miller, started at Pitt Specialty Supply, the supply company for Plocki’s Pittsburgh facilities that employs 34 people, as an intern for about six months and transitioned to a full-time role a year ago. about five years after graduating from Penn State University. Menegay, who lives in Uniontown, met Plocki and Miller while working for a chemical manufacturer in five states in Ohio. They convinced him to be part of their new business because they knew he knew the area well. Menegay said what won him over was the couple’s vision for the Friendly Wholesale business and staff.

Husband and wife Tim and Yvonne Hendershot of Shreve are long-time employees of Friendly Wholesale. Friendly wholesale staff, happy with new owner
Yvonne Hendershot, an employee for around 30 years – most employees have been with Friendly Wholesale for decades – said she was happy with her new bosses.

Summary of news:

  • Wooster’s Friendly Wholesale has new owners to help the business thrive
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