Product brokers have long played an important role in bringing new products to the vending and OCS industries, and brokers who have a good eye for exciting new products and the ability to partner with the manufacturers have won the loyalty of vending and OCS operators.
One of the nation’s most committed brokers is Stu Case, the northwest vend regional manager for Burdette Beckmann, Inc., which is based in Hollywood, Fla.
Case has been active in trade organizations ever since he first got into the refreshment services business on the operating side. He launched Horizon Coffee Service in Yorba Linda in 1982 and quickly became active in the Western Coffee Association.
It was through the Western Coffee Association that Case met his longtime business partner, Bob Mattias, who was the sales manager for a regional coffee roaster. In 1992, Mattias and Case decided there was a need for a new OCS distributor on the West Coast, so they formed Pacific Brokerage.
Expansion Into Vending
Many vending operators were expanding into OCS in the early 1990s, so Pacific Brokerage followed their customers’ needs and expanded into vending products in their first year. The company expanded to a total of 13 employees.
Case and Mattias both served as president of the Western Coffee Association before that organization merged with the California Automatic Vendors Council (CAVC). Case is also a CAVC past president.
Case serves on the board of the CAVC and several National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) committees. He was general chairman of the 2004 NAMA Spring Expo in Las Vegas, and in 2001 he was named the CAVC Allied Member of the Year. In 2005, he was named the NAMA Vending Allied Member of the Year.
Case was the first West Coast recipient of the NAMA NCE designation, having completed the NAMA Executive Development Program at Michigan State University.
“It is an outstanding program,” Case said for the executive development program. “It’s a ‘must’ for any management people in this industry.”
Case and Mattias recognized the changes in the vending industry and saw the advantages of being part of a national organization, so in 2008 they joined with Burdette Beckmann Inc., a vending, OCS and specialty markets brokerage. Case said Pacific Brokerage’s philosophies matched those of Robert Taylor, Jr., the president of Burdette Beckmann. The combined company has a nationwide presence. All 13 of Pacific Brokerage’s employees still work for BBI Pacific.
Case continues to keep an eye out for new products. Burdette Beckmann has recently signed as national broker for the Dolly Madison vending line and Entenmann’s pastries, among others.
Case is also excited about representing General Mills Inc., Mars Inc. and the new Newco pod brewers, the Del Monte fresh fruit and produce, and the new frozen food from Schwan’s Food Service.