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  • Clark Associates Companies
  • Clark Associates Companies
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  • Clark TurnKey Solutions Group

A Brief History of Clark Associates, Inc.

Company History

Clark Associates Trucks Circa 1980

The Clark Associates companies have been serving central Pennsylvania and the greater east coast since January 2nd 1971, when brothers Glenn and Lloyd Clark began in the electrical contracting business with the fundamental belief that if you treat customers right, they will return. While the Clark Associates companies are now involved in a whole lot more than electrical contracting, the founding principle of excellent customer service at a fair price still remains.

Growth and expansion have been prominent themes since Clark Associates was founded 40 years ago. A "back of the house" mentality forged the company's commitment to constantly seeking out ways to make life easier for the end user, and that often meant the company itself had to branch out into new territories. Clark Food Service Equipment, Calumet Enterprises, Clark Fire Protection, and Noble Chemical were founded throughout the 1970s and 1980s, while Hawk Industries and Commercial Stainless were also acquired so that Clark Associates could offer mechanical, manufacturing, service, and equipment and supplies sales to its customers.

To facilitate this rapid expansion, the foodservice companies relocated to a larger building in Smoketown in 1990 before quickly outgrowing that location and moving to an even larger building on Old Philadelphia Pike in 1993. This cleared the path for the mechanical division to join Clark Service & Parts—which was now under the management of Glenn's son, Glenn Jr.—in a move to the newly vacated Smoketown building.

Clark Associates opened its first cash-n-carry Restaurant Store in 1993, which proved to be such a successful way of selling foodservice supplies and equipment that several other stores were established across central Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware over the next decade. 1993—four years before the original founders' retirement from the company—also marked the year that Lloyd's son, Fred, took over controlling interest of Clark Associates, Inc. Fred has served as the president ever since and, in 2004, was honored as Foodservice Equipment & Supply's Top Achiever - Dealer, as well as Pennsylvania Restaurant Association's Associate Member of the Year.

In 2004, The WebstaurantStore.com brought Clark Associates into the world of e-commerce as the largest online restaurant supply company on the web and has since been a driving force behind the company's growth. The Clark Distribution Center was opened in 2005 to serve as the shipping and receiving point for Clark Food Service Equipment, The Restaurant Store, and The Webstaurant Store, with a second Clark Distribution Center coming along in 2006 that doubled the size of the original.

2008 marked Clark Associates' first physical venture beyond the Northeastern United States as Clark Food Service Equipment expanded its operations into Sarasota with the founding of Clark Florida. 2009 brought with it the introduction of Clark Convenience Store Products, while Clark EcoEnergy debuted in 2010 as Clark Associates' newest division. A third warehouse also opened in 2010, with yet another following in 2011 when The Webstaurant Store established a distribution center in Madisonville, Kentucky.

What started over forty years ago as an electrical service company with 2 partners and 7 employees has grown into a family of companies that employs more than 1,000 people, operating out of 15 buildings in 5 states. While the company may not have a physical presence throughout the country, its venture into the world of e-commerce with the wildly successful Webstaurant Store has given Clark Associates a strong foothold in all 50 states and beyond! Having been named to Central Penn Business Journal's Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies for 3 years in a row and with customer satisfaction rates at an all-time high, there's no question that Clark Associates is looking forward to another 40 years of success, growth, and outstanding service!

Company History

Clark Associates' first home in 1973

Company History

Lloyd (left) and Glenn Clark in the early years

Company History

The original home of Clark Associates in 1976

Company History

In 1978, Clark Associates moved into a much larger building in Intercourse

Company History

Clark Service & Parts moved to Smoketown in 1993

Company History

Clark Mechanical and Clark Service & Parts share the Smoketown building

Company History

The Restaurant Store came to Harrisburg in 2003

Company History

FE&S Associate Publisher Brian Shilling (left) presents Fred Clark with the Top Achiever award in Chicago

Company History

Delivery trucks began operating out of the new Clark Distribution Center in 2005.

Company History

The Clark Distribution Center (CDC) opened in January 2005

Company History

The Webstaurant Store‘s second distribution center in Madisonville, Kentucky

Company History

The Restaurant Store‘s seventh store location in Baltimore, Maryland

Company History

The Clark Distribution Center opened in Delaware

Clark Associates, Inc. Timeline

1971

Glenn & Lloyd Clark founded G/L Clark Associates as an electrical contracting business in Hatville, just east of Intercourse, PA. The business was first formed on Lloyd’s 40th birthday.

1974

HVAC division is added to G/L Clark Associates

1976

Lloyd’s son, Fred Clark, joins the company out of high school

1978

Company moves to a bigger building in the center of Intercourse, PA

Clark Food Service Equipment is founded

1980

Calumet Enterprises is founded by Lloyd and Fred

1986

Clark Fire Protection is founded

1987

Hawk Industries, Inc. is acquired

1989

Commercial Stainless, Inc. is acquired

1990

The G/L is dropped from the name G/L Clark Associates, Inc.

Noble Chemical is founded

Clark Associates moves to a bigger building in Smoketown, PA

Clark Service & Parts is founded

1991

Glenn’s son, Glenn Jr., joins the company to manage the newly formed service division, Clark Service & Parts

1993

Clark Food Service Equipment and the corporate offices move to a bigger building at 2209 Old Philadelphia Pike

The first Restaurant Store opens in Lancaster

Fred Clark takes over controlling interest of Clark Associates, Inc.

1995

The Restaurant Store opens in Lehigh Valley, PA

1997

The Restaurant Store opens in Philadelphia

Glenn & Lloyd Clark, founders of Clark Associates, retire

1999

The Restaurant Store opens in Wilmington, DE

Clark Mechanical Services, Inc. is formed out of Clark Associates with Lloyd Clark’s long-time right hand man, Barry Martin, as president

2003

The Restaurant Store opens in Harrisburg, PA

2004

Fred Clark is honored as the year’s Foodservice Equipment & Supply’s Top Achiever – Dealer

The WebstaurantStore.com launches

Fred Clark is honored as the Associate Member of the Year by the PA Restaurant Association

2005

Clark Distribution Center is opened in Lancaster

The Restaurant Store opens in Reading, PA

2006

A second Clark Distribution Center is opened in Lancaster, twice as big as the original CDC

2007

The brand new Clark Associates corporate office building is opened in Lancaster

2008

Clark Food Service Equipment expands its operations into Sarasota, FL

2009

Clark named CPBJ's 11th fastest growing company

Clark Convenience Store Products division is founded

2010

Clark named CPBJ's 9th fastest growing company

Third, new warehouse is opened

Clark EcoEnergy division is founded

2011

Clark celebrates its 40th anniversary

Clark named CPBJ's 6th fastest growing company

The Webstaurant Store opens its second distribution center in Madisonville, Kentucky

2012

Clark Florida moves to a new office and warehouse in Bradenton, FL

Clark ranks 6th in Foodservice Equipment Reports magazine’s Top Dealers list, and is fastest growing company on the list

Clark named CPBJ's 2nd fastest growing company

Clark recognized as Business of the Year by CPBJ

2013

TheRestaurantStore.com becomes a separate division

The Restaurant Store opens in Baltimore, MD

The Webstaurant Store opens its third distribution center in Reno, Nevada

Clark Food Service Equipment opens Clark TurnKey Solutions Group in Charlotte, NC

Clark named CPBJ's fastest growing company

2014

Clark Service Group opens an office in Baltimore, Maryland

Clark opens a distribution center in New Castle, Delaware

The Wilmington and Lehigh Valley Restaurant Stores move to larger store locations

Clark named CPBJ's 3rd fastest growing company

The Webstaurant Store opens a distribution center in Cumberland, Maryland

2015

Clark Associates, Inc. Named Foodservice Equipment and Supplies 2015 Dealer of the Year

The Webstaurant Store opens a distribution center in Albany, Georgia

Clark named CPBJ's 5th fastest growing company

2016

Clark named CPBJ's 2nd fastest growing company