Our story begins in Petaluma California, circa 1960’s. Mike Hudson (the man) was a transplant to Sonoma County from Livermore California, where he worked as a produce manager for Safeway. He moved to Sonoma County, and shortly after that met Barbara Biondini, whose family had a one van distributing company that called on small delicatessens in the Bay Area. When Barbara’s uncle announced his retirement, Mike jumped at the opportunity to take over the family business and in 1968 began driving a small van from deli to deli selling salami right from the back of the van. The first Mike Hudson Distributing warehouse was in the basement of a historic commercial building listed on the National Register in Old Town Petaluma. From here Mike and Barbara would grow this small business into one of the most predominant specialty food distributors in Northern California.
Over the next few years, Mike Hudson Distributing would move to a few new locations and go through phases of varying success. You see, back then distribution was not what it is today. Nothing was presold; everything was loaded on the truck or van the night before and sold right off the truck the next day. 48 years later our Director of Operations, Frank Bianchi recalls that time in our history, “I’ll never forget it – gravel floors in the warehouse; Jim Davis would drive into the city to pick up product from Columbus every day, and I would prepare the vans for their routes the following day.”
Our first big break – Mike Hudson Distributing picked up a significant account, Perry’s Delicatessen (established in 1972). This was a large account for us as they would buy a considerable amount of product. Today we are proud to say Perry’s Deli is still a loyal Mike Hudson Distributing customer.
Growth continued, and in 1975 we moved across town to 1297 Dynamic Street in Petaluma, with eight pallets of product, and four employees. At this location, Mike would hire a few more internal support staff, a secretary, and four van drivers/ sales associates, including Jim Davis, Frank Bianchi, Frank Haynes, and Don Carney. Business boomed at this new location. Mike Hudson Distributing would grow so much in the next 10 years the warehouse would require three remodels to increase space. Frank Bianchi recalls, “We had one dock for receiving, and rows of trucks out to the parking lot waiting to be unloaded.” In 1990 Mike and Barbara brought George Parisi on board to strengthen the accounting and financial side of the business. In 1994 all vehicles were upgraded from vans to trucks and trailers. As we grew so did our offering to include muscle meats, and a more diverse selection of domestic, imported and local cheeses. Business was good, and in 1996 Mike Hudson Distributing expanded and started servicing pizzerias and independent grocery stores from the Oregon border, all the way south to the Central Valley, and Sacramento area.
In 1997 Mike Hudson passed away, and Barbara Hudson continued as the sole owner for a few years before selling the business to longtime employees George Parisi, Frank Haynes, and Jim Davis who incorporated as HDP Enterprises in 2000. In January 2007, we moved to our current location at 2237 So. McDowell Blvd Ext. in Petaluma. The larger office and warehouse allowed us to expand both our support staff and product offering. George Parisi and his wife Lufu became the sole owners of Mike Hudson Distributing this year (2017). Presently our fleet consists of 19 tractors and 20 trailers, and a full staff of 70+ full-time employees. Mike Hudson Distributing continues to grow in the face of continuous changes in our industry. It is the relationships we have with our customers and our unwavering commitment to our core values; Integrity, Caring and Passion, that has sustained us all these years. With continued leadership in place, Mike Hudson Distributing is well positioned to continue to gain market share in Northern California by providing the reliable service and unique mix of specialty products our customers have come to trust and expect.