From Local Produce Sales to a Regional Food Distributor
In 1933, Nespo Kaleel started a business by selling produce on the streets of Spring Valley, Illinois. During WWII, George, Ernie, and Tom Kaleel joined the business.
The Kaleel brothers ran their small produce business in Spring Valley until 1956. By then, they had outgrown that town in north central Illinois. With only a 5,000 population, there just weren’t enough customers to be found for the company to grow. Tom was just married and looking for new opportunities to go with his new responsibilities when he saw an advertisement for a produce company for sale in Youngstown, Ohio. After much soul searching, the brothers decided to take a chance, uproot their families, and move to Youngstown, Ohio. L. Frank & Sons was purchased by the Kaleel brothers on July 16, 1956, thus marking the birth of Kaleel Brothers, Inc.
Innovation and Growth
In 1976, Kaleel Brothers moved to Boardman, Ohio, a suburb of Youngstown, and established its current location at 761 Bev Road. This convenient location is only 60 minutes from Pittsburgh and 90 minutes from Cleveland.
In 1999 Kaleel Bros., Inc successfully designed, tested and implemented a revolutionary new type of trailer. The trailer eliminates the need for two side doors by utilizing movable center divide panels with two movable bulkheads.
The Next Generation is the Future
Nespo and Tom Kaleel grew the business through leadership, commitment, courage and risk taking. In 1998, they passed the torch of success to the 2nd generation. This includes Nespo’s son Dennis, Retired, Tom’s eldest son, Ron, President and National Account Manager, Tom’s youngest son, Terry, Vice President in charge of Operations, Tom’s oldest daughter, Jan, Director, Information Systems/Marketing. The 3rd generation is on the rise with Ron’s son, Ryan and Terry’s son, Tommy. Both have been in the business since they were in their early teens. Their dream is that the Kaleel success story will continue to be passed down from generation to generation. Kaleel Brothers, Inc. is a true legacy of success in the food service industry.