This past January, CW West was very excited to acquire and begin collaboration with stellar family-forward company Mike Hudson Distributing. Running parallel to The Chefs’ Warehouse in terms of arcing quality and integrity, MHD began in 1969 when
Mike Hudson took over his wife Barbara’s small family distribution business.
Back in the day, Mike Hudson would wake up early and fill his van, stopping at every delicatessen in NorCal. Known as the Salami Man, Mike’s customers were fiercely loyal, and just like The Chefs’ Warehouse with food service, Mike Hudson Distributing has been stopping the truck for independently-owned retailers for fifty-four years, a very exciting frontier for CW to be stepping into more fulsomely.
In 2000 Mike Hudson sold the company to three employees: George Parisi, Frank Haynes, and Jim Davis. George Parisi and his wife, Lufu, became the company’s sole owners in 2017. Over the last six years, despite significant challenges in the industry, the Parisi family has led MHD to its most profitable time.
Another attribute of MHD in parallel to CW is their overriding commitment to nurture, support and respect their employees, and foster a professional community where everyone is treated like family and their opinions and practices are embraced.
Based in Petaluma since its inception, MHD has grown from a one-man operation to a fleet of 19 trucks; from a refrigerator in Mike Hudson’s garage to a large warehouse and office space just off Highway 116.
Like with CW, for many small local producers, Mike Hudson Distributing has provided an accessible and supportive introduction to distribution. Being a family-owned company, George and Lufu Parisi have prioritized local business and welcomed the opportunity to connect with new purveyors as they expand their reach in Northern California.
‘Sonoma County is a bountiful area with many wonderful artisan food creators coming onto the scene each year. Supporting local artisanal food producers is important to us, our community, our customers, and our industry. We strive to support local and make sourcing these foods easier for our customers,’ shared Michelle Eighmey, MHD Marketing Manager.
Peter Saridis, CW Sales Manager, is ecstatic to be stepping into his new role of General Manager at MHD and collaborating with the great team therein. Peter shares his experience as General Manager and working with the MHD team so far. ‘Our full CW NorCal leadership team (headed up by CW NorCal RVP Andy Brown and CW West VP Bruce Luong) met up with MHD’s entire team and spent much time together sharing our company stories and getting on the same page. We all agreed that what everyone wanted was a partnership. So in CW’s mind, our work with MHD is ‘Operation Retain and Maintain.’
Peter speaks further on the importance of CW’s collaboration with MHD. ’I’ve been with six of their reps and their customers. Each stated how much they love their relationship with MHD and what the company has stood for all these years. I want to assure them that nothing will change. If anything, down the road, there may just be reconfiguring in the warehouse to bring more items to bring more value and help MHD keep growing their business.’