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The Richmond Wholesale Family

About us

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Our mission

“To be a recognized leader in wholesale food manufacturing and world-wide distribution specializing in customized orders for our customers and strategic business partners.”

post-image Vern and Jeanne Doellstedt, founders

Our History

“To Serve You Is Our Pleasure” has been the mantra of Richmond Wholesale since its inception in 1959. Our parents and founders, Vern and Jeanne Doellstedt, believed fervently that everyone in the company should model that motto and all that it meant. As second generation business owners, we embrace this family legacy and emphasize that spirit of service to our employees, customers, business partners and community at large.

Vern launched the enterprise with capital measured in pounds, not dollars—40,000 lbs. of pork feet and neck bones! With his first sales, he doubled his investment of 5 cents a pound into 10 cents and instantly became “profitable.” He eagerly hit the pavement with his aging panel truck and met with many owners of small Mom-and-Pop markets across the San Francisco Bay Area. Based on his naturally caring and collaborative personality, Vern promoted business strategies and agreements with those merchants that benefitted everyone concerned. His goal of helping his customers to grow successfully alongside Richmond Wholesale’s success continues to be one of our primary business tenets. We believe in Partnerships, not just sales and profit based relationships.

post-image Christmas 1962

THE 60's to 70's

Vern and Jeanne were well known as early adopters of technology, which included marketing efforts using the telephone in the mid 1960’s. Vern was the first Bay Area meat wholesaler to strategically grow the business by promoting telephone orders versus the traditional door-to-door sales approach. By today’s business standards his approach may seem mundane, but they expanded their sales territory to include all of northern California filling 10 trucks a day serving customers from Fresno to Redding.

Vern majored in International Business in college, and by 1969, he saw his dream come true – developing export sales to the islands of the South Pacific. By utilizing telex machines and eventually fax machines, the service model crossed the waters. Richmond Wholesale’s goal was and is to maintain a quality 99% fill rate for all of our customers, including those yearning for a variety of items from the US mainland. Sometimes that meant throwing in a pallet of Christmas Trees, along with cases of turkey tails. Vern and Jeanne believed in people, and they extended credit to these entrepreneurs in faraway places, wanting to see them prosper in their business endeavors. It worked! We grew together!

post-image Doellstedt Family

the 80's to 90's

By the 1980’s, Richmond Wholesale determined the Asian community in northern California could benefit from our extensive product line of over 10,000 items and abundant inventory. To successfully connect and properly service that consumer population, Vern and Jeanne hired bilingual sales staff capable of communicating in both Mandarin and Cantonese. It proved to be a brilliant decision for everyone.

Showboat Sausage was introduced to the product line and its regional reputation now extends across the country. The recipe for this uniquely spiced dinner favorite is a closely guarded secret. The 90’s produced a tremendous opportunity to support our military forces overseas with food products contracted under the Prime Vendor program.

Vern was a military veteran of the Korean War and has taken great pride in serving our troops for the last 35 years with top quality meats, unparalleled fill rates and superior service. We are honored to continue serving our military.

post-image Our Primary Facility in Richmond, California

pRESENT and future

We just recently completed a comprehensive three-year strategic plan and its implementation has spearheaded some very aggressive business goals for us to pursue. These include growing our manufacturing relationships, marketing of new product lines and significant growth in sales revenue from both international and CONUS markets. We recently introduced “Better-for-You” table ready products that are available in grocery stores, ‘club’ stores, restaurants and food delivery services.

The future is unfolding quickly with the third generation of Doellstedts already participating in the family’s business. Their fresh perspective will be needed as we face market forces, food preferences and global competition. We are extremely proud of the dedicated men and women we consider extended family more than employees. They have worked tirelessly to fulfill the mission of Richmond Wholesale and maintain its untarnished reputation for upholding its 60-year legacy motto: “To Serve You Is Our Pleasure”

testimonials

We can always count on Richmond Wholesale to complete all the required inspections and documentation the way we expect things to be accomplished.
If Richmond promises you’ll get an order shipped with specific quality, packaging and timing criteria, that’s the way it’s going to happen—end of story.
I wish we dealt with more suppliers like Richmond Wholesale. They make it very easy and pleasant to do business with and we can concentrate on something else.
We import quite a lot of protein products from companies in the United States, but our experience with Richmond Wholesale ranks at the top in every category of service.
RW are experienced pros in this industry. They handle any paperwork issues or shipping snafus as well as taking the original order.