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The Proud History of Hubbard Supply Co.
In 1865, H.B. Newton and George W. Hubbard opened Newton & Hubbard Hardware Store in Flint, Michigan. The business prospered and five years later, Hubbard bought out his partner and renamed the store “Hubbard Hardware.”
Much of Hubbard’s success can be attributed to the personal attention he gave his customers. He was known to arrive early, before the store opened, to attend to paperwork and business matters. He would then spend the rest of the day at the door, personally greeting and interacting with his customers.
After Hubbard’s death in 1937, the Burrough family, a prominent local business family Hubbard’s daughter had married into, became major stockholders in the company and took the reins. The Burrough family retained the company name and added an industrial supply division before selling it to Charles “Chuck” Shelley, a local businessman, in 1963.
Shelley wanted to capitalize on the growing industrial market and decided to close Hubbard’s retail and wholesale divisions to focus on the industrial supply division. This move pushed the company in a new direction, and the name was changed to Hubbard Industrial Supply. Shelley also convinced his son-in-law, Robert Fuller, to join the company. When Shelley retired in 1977, Fuller took over as president and continued the momentum Shelley started by looking for growth opportunities. Soon after, he opened a regional distribution center in Saginaw, the first of many expansions. Branch offices in Lansing and Livonia were opened and later closed as the business changed once again.
In 1993, Hubbard Industrial Supply acquired Shand Electronics, an electronic supplier in Flint. Shand Electronics operated as a separate business entity until 1999 when the company was merged with Hubbard Industrial Supply. The name was then changed to Hubbard Supply Co.
In 2004, Hubbard Supply Co. acquired Kendall Industrial Supply of Battle Creek, MI. This move expanded Hubbard Supply Co.’s geographical reach to the west side of Michigan, adding branches in Battle Creek, Benton Harbor and Traverse City.
In April 2007, ownership changed hands once again. Jeff Bigelow and Tim Brooks, current CEO and COO respectively, purchased the company from Fuller, keeping it a family-owned, private business.
Hubbard Supply Co. is a member of two national industrial cooperatives, Affiliated Distributors and Edge Inc. These cooperatives combine the purchasing power of distributors across the country and provide access to more than 3,500 manufacturers, allowing better pricing and product availability to be passed on to our customers.
What started as a small hardware store is now one of the leading industrial and electronic suppliers in Michigan. Today, Hubbard Supply Co. has five branch offices, two distribution centers, and eight partner distribution centers and conducts business in all of Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio.
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