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Top 50 - 2008

18. Nicholas and Co., Inc.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Year founded: 1939
Chairman: William Mouskondis
President: Peter W. Mouskondis
1 distribution centers
3,800 accounts
11,500 SKUs
COP & specialty products: Fresh meat (beef, lamb, veal, poultry) fresh fish, fresh produce, gourmet cheese, E&S, san-jan
Best innovation: Moved the entire sales force to Air Cards for instant access and order placement.
Other news: Added a 2.1 million-cu.-ft. cooler with seven temperature zones; marketing emphasis on fresh produce, specialty and imported cheeses and other high end products.
Fuel prices: All contracts include fuel adder charges based on triggers when the cost of diesel exceeds a baseline level.
High-tech operations systems: Preparing to move to RF for operations, receiving, warehousing, picking, etc. Entire fleet has integrated computer tracking and communications devices and the drivers are trained on their use.
Plans for human pandemic or other catastrophes: It is part of overall emergency preparedness planning.
Any "green" or environmentally-friendly projects: Inventory a line of biodegradable products.
Key issues this year: With a virtually 0% unemployment rate in the marketplace, employee retention is a strategic focus. Continually striving to maintain an employee/family friendly environment.