I was a salesman working for a trucking company back in 1986 when a customer of mine was telling me how their merchandise was “walking out the back door” at a warehouse in Chicago. He was looking to replace them with a more secure warehouse operation. Being the opportunist that I was, I told them I would find a warehouse for them in a new industrial locality that was in a low crime area. Searching for a couple of weeks I soon realized there was a shortage of 3rd party warehouses that could fit their needs.
Talking it over with my boss (and soon to be partner) Sam DiMaio, he assured me that we could do it ourselves and the only thing I needed to do was convince my customer to give us a chance. Within a few weeks, Sam & I found a 5,000 square foot space in a warehouse/office complex that would serve as our first warehouse. After the customer approved the space we were ready to sign a 1 year lease. We soon learned that was not going to be easy without any credit history (or money).
At the same time I had a small business on the side called Jiggers Bar Service that supplied bartenders and liquor for private parties. Although it was just a small company, it was in business for about 4 years. We took the initials of the company (JBS) and used its credit history to sign the lease, open a phone line, and order some supplies. We borrowed some money from a couple of good friends while the bank was approving a $10,000 equity on our homes to get us through the first few months. With the support of our family, friends, and of course that first customer we were able to pull it off. Within a year we expanded to 20,000 square feet and had 5 employees and over the last 30 years have grown to over 500,000 square feet and 55 employees.
A big THANK YOU to everyone that has been part of our 30-year history.
Alec A. Gizzi, President JBS Inc.