The History of Chem Quip, Inc.
Our business was established in 1961 by Jack and Armeda Gager as a wholesale/retail pool supply operation in Redding, Ca. and was called White House Sales. Jack, at that time, was working for Los Angeles Soap Company, a division of Lady’s Choice, a food and household products manufacturing company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Upon his transfer to the Redding area, he decided to sell pool supplies on a part time basis out of his house - a big white house that stood alone on 4-1/2 acres in Anderson. When new customers would call and ask for directions to the business, it was very easy to have them just look for the big white house off of Highway 273 - just south of Redding. Thus, the name White House Sales. The big white house is still there today.
As the business grew, Jack retired from his "real" job and operated the wholesale/retail pool business full time. His primary business was commercial and semi-commercial pools, although he did do quite a bit of residential business as well. Stories are told that if Jack and Armeda were to take off for a weekend, Jack would leave the place unlocked and instruct his customers to "help themselves". His customers would, in turn, pick up whatever they needed and leave the cash, along with a note stating what they took in a cardboard box. He even left money in the box so his customers could make their own change!
Don Aston, our CEO, who is currently in the process of retiring, met Jack in 1962 as he, at that time, was selling pool bleach to Jack for Tops Chemical Company in Sacramento. The two became good friends and in January of 1980 Jack asked Don to "put him out to pasture" (as Jack put it) as he was thinking of retirement. Don bought the business and Jack stayed on as president of the company until his death in December 1984.
From 1980 through 2003, White House Sales operated as a separate entity from Don's other pool related businesses in Northern California which were operated as Chem Quip, Inc. In 2004, White House Sales purchased the operating assets of Chem Quip's Sacramento, Hayward and Fresno operations and integrated its personnel and facilities under one umbrella. It also adopted Chem Quip, Inc. as its name.
In 2005 Don sold his shares of Chem Quip, Inc. stock to the employees of Chem Quip by forming an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). We are one of the very few distributors in our industry which is employee owned. We hope you notice the difference.
We have been in the pool and spa business for over 50 years in Northern California. The faces may have changed over the years, but the Chem Quip/White House Sales philosophy still remains the same ... treat every customer as a friend and neighbor and provide them with the quality products and top-notch service they deserve. Our mottos are "Where Employee Owners Back You Better!" and "Sure We Work Hard, We Own The Place!"
THANK YOU FOR MAKING US WHAT WE ARE TODAY!