Wholesale & Distribution International - Winter 2018 - 40
has not only survived, but also thrived as
it has grown and expanded its geographic
reach by acquiring companies with similar values.
That began in 2001, when Frey Gaede
partnered with Brusa, then a regional
sales manager with Fellowes, to form
Frey Gaede Brusa. The move expanded
the company's reach to 13 states in the
central part of the country.
The company rebranded itself Frey
Gaede in early 2017, and has continued
with acquisitions that fit culturally. The
latest one is the Rep Group, completed
in July. Headquartered in Minneapolis,
the Rep Group has focused on contract
furniture in the upper Midwest since
1954. "Since the early 2000s we have not
The values of Frey Gaede, passed down to its current leadership team, include
being passionate about community involvement. In recent years, Frey Gaede has
hosted a golf tournament with proceeds going to City of Hope, a group dedicated
to funding cancer research.
To date, Frey Gaede has raised nearly $500,000 dollars. "This is our seventh
year hosting the tournament," Todd Gaede says. "It's an opportunity to work with
our manufacturers and dealers and support a worthy cause."
only increased our relationships with
manufacturers," Jim Gaede notes, "but
at the same time we have been able to
acquire other groups like ourselves, but
with only one principal owner. In some
cases, these acquisitions allowed us to
For Gaede, the acquired companies
Frey Gaede's staff of 26 covers the Midwest, Southeast and
Southwest regions. The Midwest team is pictured here.
40 www.wdimagazine.com Winter 2018
represented more than just geographic
and line expansion opportunities. They
also operated in a similar fashion to Frey
Gaede. "What we found was that we ended up with groups who have a similar personality type," Gaede says. "We do better
with like-minded people: transparent,
honest and open."