Case Studies

Central Wholesale Supply Corporation

Honoring a family legacy keeps supply company in touch with clients' needs

Built on a solid foundation of quality products, dependable service and integrity, Central Wholesale Supply Corporation has been a family-owned and -operated business for more than 58 years. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, Central Wholesale is a one-stop shop for specialty building supplies and is one of the largest independently owned wholesale suppliers to the custom cabinet, countertop and millwork industry in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio.

A wide range of specialty productsCentral Wholesale Supply Corporation

Founded by Buster Dominick in 1958, Central Wholesale is the area’s exclusive distributor for Formica laminate, DuPont Corian solid surface and Zodiaq Quartz Surfaces, functional and decorative cabinet hardware, small hand tools, router bits, edge branding products, abrasives, safety products, board products, adhesives and sinks. Central Wholesale manages three distribution centers conveniently located in Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke, Virginia. “Our customers are typically custom cabinet shops and millwork houses,” says Steve Dominick, CEO of Central Wholesale. “We employ approximately 50 people throughout our three locations.”

Formica laminate, DuPont Corian and Zodiaq are Central Wholesale’s most popular products. The New Zealand-based Formica Group is a brand of composite materials. The material was first invented in 1912 and is used in hospitality, leisure, office, retail health care and educational institutions. The word Formica refers to the company’s classic product, which is a wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin.

As a supplier, Dominick says the company’s biggest expenses are shipping and labor. “It’s hard to find good help, but we have a great group of employees here,” he notes. “Insurance has also become a major expense.”

In remaining current with new products and receiving the best possible price, Dominick says that Central Wholesale has been able to maintain solid relationships with the manufacturing companies that provide the company its products. By doing so, Central Wholesale is able to pass the savings along to its customers. “One of our top priorities has been maintaining our relationships with our vendors over the years,” says Dominick. “That has been a major factor in the company’s success and longevity.”

The employees make the company

In measuring the success of his company, Dominick looks to his employees to see development and growth. “When we hire folks, we look for their potential to learn and grow with the company,” he says. “These days we also look for people that are technologically savvy.” With fair pay and a competitive benefits package, Central Wholesale has been able to maintain high employee retention. Many employees of the company have spent their entire careers with Central Wholesale and a fair number have been with the company for 10 or more years. “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of you,” says Dominick.

In working through the recession, a majority of companies within the construction industry have had to find methods to become lean and efficient to stay in business, while many were forced to shut down operations permanently. As a local family business, Central Wholesale was able to overcome the obstacle of the economic downturn due to its reputation within the industry and community. “Because we are independently owned, we have been able to be agile,” says Dominick. “By taking care of our clients over the years, they have in return taken care of us as well.”

Honoring a family legacy

Growing up surrounded by the family business, Dominick has worked at Central Wholesale his entire career. Working on weekends and during school vacations, he learned all aspects of the company before becoming CEO. “The fact that we are family-owned is what gives me the biggest sense of pride,” he explains. “My father built this company on hard work and I’m proud to carry it on. Central Wholesale is not just a business to us — it’s family and is filled with pride and a tradition of quality and service.”

Central Wholesale is looking to grow and expand its operation. The company is currently thriving by working with contractors that capitalize in the higher education institutional market. “A lot of colleges and universities are expanding their facilities right now,” says Dominick. “We plan to expand with that market.”

With a rich history and reputation of serving its clients with quality and attention to detail, Central Wholesale Supply Corporation continues to honor the legacy of its founder by remaining a locally owned, independent family business.

Published on: March 29, 2016

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