Sleeper, Michael & Frank
Michael and the Late Frank Sleeper
Imperial Distributors has grown steadily since its inception over 71 years ago. Based in Worcester and Auburn, Mass., Imperial currently serves over 2,000 food stores and employs 600 people.
On August 27, 2009, Michael Sleeper wrote this about his dad, Frank, the founder of Imperial Distributors, who passed away at 95 years old. “Like so many others who grew up in the throes of the Great Depression, Frank Sleeper was desperate to find a way to make a living. Fresh out of high school in 1932, he decided to assemble first-aid kits containing iodine, bandages, adhesive tape and aspirin. He traveled throughout New England selling his not-for-resale kits to gas stations, restaurants and mom-and-pop grocery stores. Little did he know he had taken the first step toward becoming a pioneer in non-foods distribution.
“Much has changed in our industry since those early days, but much remains the same. Imperial continues to follow his example by valuing hard work above all, providing great customer service, and treating everyone with respect. And perhaps most important of all, Dad’s warmth and compassion extended to everyone he touched. The Imperial family honors his memory by carrying on these enduring values he embraced throughout his life,” wrote Michael Sleeper.