Hendrix Restaurant Equipment & Supplies
Restaurant equipment and supplies
Primary market: Canada and international
Number of employees: 211
President: Larry VanderBaaren
Where the chef shops
While most Canadian cities are stoked full with restaurants, the companies that supply them with the cutlery, cleaning and maintenance supplies, cookware, appliances and uniforms, often operate under the radar. One such player is Hendrix Restaurant Equipment, which also markets to hotels, caterers, contract clients and retail customers.
“We want to be the place where the chef shops,” says Larry VanderBaaren, its president, who last year celebrated the 30th anniversary of the company he founded with his father in 1981 and which he took over in 1985. VanderBaaren attributes Hendrix Restaurant Equipment’s success to a variety of factors, including its long history of slow and steady growth and avoidance of risky moves.
That said, he has not been shy about acting when growth opportunities presented themselves, notably through the acquisition of dealers in Edmonton Alberta and Abbottsville British Columbia in 2007, as well as of Longo Food Equipment early last year.
These moves built up another key advantage. “Our size gives us both increased purchasing power to help keep costs down and the ability to service customers coast to coast,” says VanderBaaren. “It also provided us access to an exceptional management pool, which meets four times a year to plot strategy and share insights.”
The future however looks less clear. VanderBaaren’s main priority is overseeing integration of Longo Food Equipment into existing operations. Longer-term goals include simultaneously integrating two of his children into the business and selling off shares to key management players to give them a stake in the organization’s success.
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