The Polep Family
J. Polep Distribution Co.
The Polep family, a fifth generation of hard-working, innovative family members, has made J. Polep Distribution Co. of Chicopee, Mass., one of the largest convenience store distributors in the Northeast.
There are several unique characteristics of the Polep family. They have continued to think outside the box and they were one of the first convenience store distributors not to rely on cigarettes and tobacco. The family has focused on food service innovations from Sub Primo, self-contained food service units, to ice cream and alcohol divisions to the newly launched Polep kitchen and Rachael’s Food Corp.
The second unique aspect to the Polep Co. is the loyalty of its employees. The company, which started in 1889, was purchased in the mid-1980s and then disbanded for two months. Jeff Polep actually went to court himself in order to restart the Polep company.
The Polep family has been in the distribution business for over 110 years. The original company, Polep Tobacco Company, was founded by Charles Polep in 1898 in Salem, Mass. Over the past several years, J. Polep has acquired companies, expanded product lines, and added programs and value-added services to better serve the convenience store retailer. The company services more than 4,000 chain and independent retailers in the six New England states and New York.
Today, a new generation of Poleps are learning the finer points of management from their family members and are making their mark in the management of Rachael’s Food Corp. and the Polep Kitchen.