Convenience store distributors merge


Grand Rapids-based S. Abraham & Sons, or SAS, founded in 1927, is a wholesale food and beverage distributor to retailers, such as convenience stores. Photo via

A long-time convenience store distributor in town has merged with an out-of-state company.

Imperial Trading out of Elmwood, Louisiana has purchased the stock of GRAD, Inc., the parent company of Grand Rapids-based S. Abraham & Sons, or SAS, the companies said yesterday.

The newly merged company will have service capabilities from the U.S.-Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.

Imperial Trading serves retailers in nine Southern states, and SAS supplies retailers in eight Midwestern states.

Imperial and SAS will now supply more than 5,000 retail locations.

Jerry Abraham has been named president of SAS, and Alan Abraham will serve in an advisory capacity. Wayne Baquet will maintain his current role as president and CEO of Imperial.

“As we looked at opportunities for the future of our company, we sought a like-minded company with similar core values and marketing philosophies," Alan Abraham said. "We found them in Imperial Trading Company.”

SAS will continue in business and operate under the same name, and its corporate office and distribution centers in Grand Rapids and Indianapolis will continue to serve customers without interruption.

All SAS associates will maintain their positions.

“In our desire to continue and expand our growth capabilities, we found the perfect fit for us in SAS,” Baquet said. “SAS is a leader in the Midwest, providing marketing, technology and distribution solutions for their customers. We are excited to join forces and share best practices to grow our market share.”

The two companies were both founded by immigrants. Imperial was founded in 1916 by C. H. Pelias, who came to the U.S. from Greece. His grandson, John Georges, is the company’s current owner.

SAS was founded in 1927 by Sleyman Abraham from Lebanon.

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