Welcome to Johnstone Supply!
Locally Owned and Operated, Nationally Backed
The history of Controls Center Inc. dba Johnstone Supply began in 1946 with Ralph Grimme Sr. In fact, the original roots of the company can be traced back to 1861, when they made tin ware for union soldiers during the Civil War. The family business you see today all started when Ralph Grimme Sr. answered a blind ad in the newspaper for an accounting position. The Cincinnati Stamping Company was in a dire state, as was much of the world, as it struggled to recover from the Great Depression and WWII. Shortly thereafter Ralph Jr. joined the company. Together they evolved their product offering over the next several decades from metal fabrication to restaurant equipment and supplies to ultimately settling where it is today with a focus on HVAC & Refrigeration. They had an unwavering passion for their people, the customer, and innovation.
Mark and Greg Grimme joined the family business in 1976 and 1978 respectively. Shortly thereafter Ralph Jr. had fallen ill and the recession of the early 80’s had taken grip on the hard work and achievements they acquired over the previous near half century. Controls Center was on the verge of bankruptcy. Mark, Greg and handful of the industry’s best (Mike Belk, Dennis Smith, Don Watson, and Jay Wright) fought with grit and perseverance, making some monumental decisions along the way. In 1984, they picked up the Goodman line. At the time, Goodman, like the Grimme’s, was viewed as a non-threat in the marketplace. That proved to be a lethal mistake by competition. In 1987, the organization joined Johnstone Supply, a cooperative at the time. It gave them access to a network of products, people, and resources far beyond their dreams. Today, you can’t drive far without seeing one of Johnstone Supply’s 450+ locations, no matter where you are in the country. While these two decisions were the most influential the 3rd generation may have made, it would have never yielded the successful results it did, had it not been for the great people who shared the same vision and passion.
Mark, Greg, and team steamed into the 21st century and never looked back. They opened several more branches, invested in technology, products, and most importantly great people. Like the generation before them, they adapted to the changing world around them, using it to their advantage, and had an unwavering passion for the customer’s success.
While Mark and Greg strategically passed the torch to the 4th generation who have been placing their fingerprint on the business, the spirit of the founding generation came with it. Financial Integrity, Perpetual Innovation, the Customer Experience, and most importantly, Great People are what this company is built upon and what will sustain it far into the future.
“Take away all the company’s assets. Building, Inventory, take it all. Leave only the people, and we will come back bigger and stronger than ever before.”
Ralph Grimme Jr.
Visit JohnstoneSupply.com to see more information about our company, our services, our partner brands and some of our eCommerce solutions!
Our vision is to enhance lives through solutions and our mission is we make the “tech in the truck” more efficient.
We provide training to our customers and employees to meet and exceed their expectations, continually looking for the best solutions for our customers.
Every program and service we provide is to help make your business more profitable, more successful, and hopefully a little more fun. We look forward to working with you and your staff!