- Acquires small coal company (“Foster’s Coal Company”) whose largest customer is the dairy.
- Dairy fails during The Great Depression, but coal company survives.
- Buys warehouse in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. Takes seed and mill business as tenant.
- Buys seed inventory from struggling tenant, starting “Foster’s Coal and Seed Company.”
- Expands to offer live goods, tools, and other garden supplies, purchased primarily from hardware suppliers.
- “Foster’s Wholesale” starts as gamble – a truckload of redwood planters from California and a search for dealers to share it with.
- Sons Jack and Victor H. (“Vic”) spend days on road selling wholesale and nights packing orders. Wife Vonna makes shipping arrangements. Son-in-law Don Willasson manages retail business.
- Divests itself of the coal business.
- Relocates to new building in downtown Waterloo on Jefferson street.
- Hires William E. Heine, first wholesale salesperson from outside family.
- Relocates wholesale operations to new office and warehouse in a Waterloo industrial park.
- Foster family retires. William E. Heine buys the business.
- Closes retail store and devotes all efforts to wholesale.
- Acquires assets of defunct Green Bay distributor. Opens distribution center in Green Bay.
- Opens distribution center in Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth.
- William E. Heine retires. Hands reins over to son William C. “Bill Jr.” and son-in-law John Lehman.
- Consolidates Plymouth and Green Bay operations into new facility in Rogers, Minnesota.
- Acquired specialty Food business Bald Eagle Foods (www.baldeaglefoods.com).
- Acquired turf professional and sports field business Pace Supply (www.pacesupplyia.com).
- Streamlined lawn and garden business into a single location in Iowa for better performance.
- Foster’s serves thousands of lawn and garden retailers, turf professionals, sports fields and specialty food stores in the Upper Midwest with a knowledgeable, professional staff and 100,000 square feet of combined warehouse space.