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Celebrating 110 Years of Service: General Supply and Machine Company

One hundred and ten years ago, in 1913, the parachute was invented. Today, men have walked on the moon. In 1913, the first windshield wipers were put on cars; today, the cars are electric and connected to the world via GPS. One hundred and ten years ago, the crossword puzzle was invented; today, you can play all of your favorite games on a smart phone.

In that span of 110 years, many things have come and gone while others have prospered. Today, General Supply and Machine Company is celebrating three generations of family ownership and success since opening its doors in 1913.

“From my grandfather to my father and uncle and to me, we have always worked with this major philosophy—treat our customers as we would like to be treated,” said Alex Weddington, president and secretary-treasurer of General Supply.

The Meridian, Mississippi establishment was founded in 1913 by AB. “Ben” Weddington as the area’s premier distributor of sawmills on wheels. One hundred and ten years ago, the lumber industry was flourishing in the East Mississippi/West Alabama area and most of the lumber was milled by small, portable sawmills that were picked up and carried from site to site.

The mills were built in-house in the General Supply machine shop, as well as all of the ancillary components. At the height of the mill business, General Supply employed 35 machinists.

“Throughout the Great Depression, my grandfather kept all of his employees, despite the fact the company wasn’t making any money,” said Alex. “That is another one of the working philosophies that has been passed down to each of us who have run General Supply—doing the right thing and improving people’s lives.”

But when you start a business in 1913 and go through the Great Depression and two world wars, things change.

By the end of World War II, the portable sawmill was no longer needed thanks to more paved roads and large trucks to haul lumber. General Supply adapted its inventory to meet the needs of the times, becoming a totally “supply” establishment specializing in industrial, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning supplies. The company also has a line of pumps, pipes and pipe fittings, as well as tools.

When Ben Sr. passed away, his two sons, Ben Jr. and Hunter George, took over the family business. Ben Jr. served as president until his death in 1986; Hunter George held that position until his death in 2016.

MCC President Dr. Scott Elliott stated, “Most people are lucky in their lives if they can distinguish themselves in just one area. H.G. distinguished himself in at least three—in his service to his country, in his stellar career as an amateur golfer and as a longtime civic and business leader. In all that he accomplished, H.G. brought honor not only to himself, but also to Mississippi and Meridian.”

The growth of General Supply has been steady and aimed at serving customers in Mississippi and in the West Alabama area. “We make time for people and if something is wrong, we make it right,” said Alex. As more years elapsed, General Supply began to diversify its business, becoming a wholesale distributor for HVAC, mill supplies, plumbing, pumps, valves and pipe fittings. H.G. credited his son Alex with expertly managing the continued evolution of the company to ensure its viability in a global marketplace.

With innovation, General Supply has never lost sight of the company’s beginnings. General Supply’s employees are loyal, and most have been with the company more than 25 years. General Supply employs eight individuals (other than Alex). One of the eight has been with the company for 48 years and another for 43 years. This is just an example of employee loyalty to the company. Not only are the employees loyal to General Supply, General Supply is loyal to its employees and that is one of the main reasons the company has been in business for 110 years.

To that end, General Supply carries a full line of HVAC and mill supplies, specializing in Mitsubishi, Goodman and Bryant heating and air conditioning equipment. General Supply also has one of the nicest showrooms between Meridian and Birmingham with jacuzzi whirlpools, spas, fireplaces, gas logs and bathroom fixtures—anything to make your house a home.

As General Supply looks to its next 100 years of success, third-generation owner Alex Weddington said “We have a choice each day regarding the attitude we will have. Our attitude at General Supply is one of optimism, service and always doing more than is expected.”

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Saffron Supply Grows Business

Since July of last year, Saffron Supply beat its all-time monthly revenue high six times and its one-day sales record around 10 times.

The company has been around since 1910, and for the first time in 113 years, it’s looking at a second location, with the possibility of a third by 2025. The business’ staff grew from six employees to 16 in the last year.

The company’s 2023 projection is double of 2022, and 2024 might double 2023 if it continues at the same pace. Its customer directory has also doubled since 2022. Saffron Supply opened approximately 20 new accounts with IMARK vendors in that time, as well.

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Plumbing and Heating Wholesale Inc. Announces Acquisition

Plumbing and Heating Wholesale Inc. (PHW) recently announced the acquisition of Kearney, Nebraska-based plumbing and HVAC distributor Holmes Plumbing and Heating Supply.

Both the location and the team at Holmes Supply represent a strategic opportunity for PHW and both organizations are culturally aligned. PHW will continue to serve the Holmes customer base with the same outstanding service that Holmes has provided the market for nearly 55 years and will bring some new opportunities to the market as the companies combine resources.

Holmes Supply will continue to operate as Holmes Plumbing & Heating Supply as a division of Plumbing & Heating Wholesale Inc. for the foreseeable future. The companies will work together to provide unmatched services to the trade customers and showroom customers in the territory Holmes covers today.

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Salem Plumbing Supply Celebrates New Location

Salem Plumbing Supply has opened a new location in Danvers, Massachusetts.

The company now has three locations in Beverly. Gloucester and Danvers, all of which host Summer Counter Days. The Summer Counter Days Program is designed to present the latest new products and features from some of its top vendors like Milwaukee, Viega, American Standard and more.

Being a family-owned company makes the difference. Salem Plumbing Supply focuses on the needs of customers and creating authentic relationships.

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Salem Plumbing Supply Hosts Summer Counter Days Program

Salem Plumbing Supply invites customers to visit one of its three Massachusetts locations in Beverly, Gloucester or the new location in Danvers to enjoy the Summer Counter Days Program and see what Salem Plumbing Supply is all about.

The Summer Counter Days Program is designed to present the latest new products and features from Salem Plumbing Supply’s top suppliers like Milwaukee, Viega, American Standard and more.

Jason Sevinor, president at Salem Plumbing Supply, said, “Being a family-owned company makes the difference. We focus on the needs of our customers. Nothing is more important to us than creating authentic relationships.”

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Southern Supply Company Celebrates More Than 82 Years in Business

Southern Supply Company has been providing high-quality plumbing supplies to professional plumbers for more than 82 years. Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, with branch locations in Bradenton and St. Petersburg, Southern Supply Company is well positioned to better serve its ever-expanding customer base. The company’s three locations allow Southern Supply Company to carry a wide and in-depth inventory of products along with providing exceptional personal service.

Southern Supply Company is a local family-owned business with dedicated and long-term employees who offer vast experience and product knowledge. Rick Noble, president, confirms the company’s moto, “Southern Supply Company, Where Exceptional Service Meets Southern Hospitality.”

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Partnership Results in North Miami Neighborhood Mural

Lion Plumbing Supply and American Standard recently joined forces to brighten up a north Miami neighborhood. Lion Plumbing Supply, a Miami-based company, recently unveiled a new 31-foot-by-23-foot mural painting by artist Diana Contreras featuring the company’s mascot in a bubble bath. The unveiling celebration was held at 14350 NW 7th Ave., Miami, FL 33168, on Monday, May 15.

The inspiration for the mural came from the collaboration of the Lion’s office staff. The goal was to bring awareness of the wholesale and showroom location to the surrounding community.

Founded in 1956, Lion Plumbing Supply is a staple in the south Florida market with its 39 employee owners and has consistently grown in part because of the service and dedication of their very loyal team and customers.

About the artist: Diana Contreras (b. Peru, 1981) has established herself as an influential Miami artist. From painting murals in the urban art scene to exhibiting canvas pieces in galleries, her work has been seen in exhibitions and private collections in several parts of the world including Street Art Dubai Gallery in Dubai.

Contreras received her bachelor’s degree in art education and a post-graduate of art in education from Florida International University. She also studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where she focused on art history. Additionally, Contreras was enrolled at the Art Students League of New York in New York City.

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Timmer Supply Co. Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Terry and Beverley Timmer started Timmer Supply in May 1983. They sold their home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and moved to Madison, South Dakota in May 1983 to start the company.

The Timmers rented 75% of the building that the business operated in for 10 years to two other businesses in Madison. Today, the company has three buildings and uses all the space it has. In 2003, when the business celebrated its 20th anniversary, the Timmers hosted a fishing and golf tournament in Chamberlain with customers and vendors. This summer, they will host an open house for the company’s 40th anniversary with a couple of long-time vendors to celebrate.

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