The Holt Supply Story

John R. Holt (Founder) and Andy Holt (President)

John R. Holt (Founder) and Andy Holt (President)

In 1946, after completing his tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, John R. Holt returned to his hometown of Galesburg, Illinois and found employment at a local plumbing wholesale company where he worked in the warehouse and drove a delivery truck. Two years later, he had an opportunity to begin a plumbing apprenticeship, and five years later he rose to be a Journeyman Plumber. John then launched and developed a successful plumbing and heating contracting company, John R. Holt, Inc. After 15 years, he sold the company to a group who formed the current Mechanical Services Inc. (MSI) in Galesburg, Illinois.

That sale was spurred by John’s desire to start a wholesale plumbing and heating business, and in 1971 he successfully launched PHC Supply Inc. John hired Sandy Fowler in 1974. Sandy managed the Galesburg location for decades, building the respect and trust of the customers she served.

PHC Supply would undergo a name change to Holt Supply in 1985, the year John Holt’s son, Andy, joined the company after his graduation from Creighton University. In 1986, John and Andy opened their first branch operation in Princeton, Illinois with Chuck Hanson, formerly of May Company and AC Supply, as manager. Today, Chuck oversees the purchasing and commercial quoting responsibilities for the company from the corporate office in Bloomington, Illinois. It was in the fall of 1990 that Andy and his wife, Jean, moved to Bloomington to start the company’s third location. Andy explains,

“We moved to Bloomington without knowing one person. We built a building, stocked it, and began meeting customers one at a time. From our first days in Bloomington, we have felt like this would be our home.”

Bloomington has become one of Holt Supply’s landmark operations and in 1995, just four years after opening there, Andy moved the corporate offices from Galesburg to Bloomington.

Today, with Holt Supply’s corporate staff and distribution based in Bloomington, the company supports branches in Champaign, Princeton, Galesburg, Burlington, Iowa and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Andy adds,

“Many of us at the corporate office have been together for several years, and enjoy working together and strive to improve as a team. And our branches are managed and staffed by excellent people who have grown to be extremely talented at what they do. We have dedicated long-term people in our company, as well as some rising stars and we’re all working hard together to serve our customers at a level beyond that of our competitors.”

The branch in Sioux Falls, South Dakota supports the HVAC business as an exclusive distributor of American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning. Mike Loecker has been a long-time, trusted manager of that location. All other locations serve both the plumbing and HVAC areas of the business.

Alongside the company’s to-the-trade offerings, Holt Supply operates three beautifully-designed bath and kitchen showrooms where the public is welcomed.

Andy continues,

“Most of our customers are referred, homeowners in the process of building or remodeling are sent to us by plumbers, builders, designers or architects. An increasing number of homeowners, however, are visiting our showrooms much earlier in the process to gain ideas, even before beginning their home project.”

Whether you’re a tradesman, builder, designer, architect, or a homeowner, please know you’re welcome at Holt Supply. We look forward to serving you soon.

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