Our History ...
“Never allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!”
~ Babe Ruth
The American dream comes to life at USA Distributors … built from being just a vision with hard work, honesty, and a philosophy of “never say no” to a customer.
It richly deserves the reputation of being the most dependable janitorial and maintenance supply distributor in the Miami area.
In 1998, the Nicolas living room looked more like an office than a room in their family home. In one corner was a large desk, computer, printer and well-worn office chair. Adjacent to it was a full file cabinet and a few boxes that contained office supplies.
Their garage also didn’t look like it belonged in the residential neighborhood. In addition to storing a car, bicycles, insecticides and a lawnmower, it housed rows of metal shelving that neatly stored boxes of cleaning chemicals, high-density liners, and jumbo rolls of toilet paper.
During those early days, Ralph Nicolas, Sr. never spent a moment thinking his new business might strike out. He had successfully run several other businesses, had worked his way up the ranks in another JanSan distributorship, and was determined that the planned success of his fledgling janitorial supply distribution company would be worth the 70-hour work weeks.
Several nights a week, Ralph Sr. would take a break from building his business and pursue his love of baseball by coaching his son’s little league team. “Coach Ralph” became a beloved figure to many families and their sons who played on his teams. His coaching days continued well after his son, Ralph Jr., had gone to college. Many young players went on to earn athletic scholarships to colleges and universities, never forgetting the guidance of Coach Ralph.
Giving to the community through baseball was a great opportunity for Coach Ralph to do what he loved, and it also helped USA Distributors grow and prosper. Many connections were made on the baseball diamond and doors were opened for USA Distributors to prove itself.
The company was soon racking in the home runs. Eventually the Nicolas’ living room was restored to the family gathering place, the small Astro van was replaced with a larger delivery truck, and the warehouse was relocated to a larger industrial park.
As the company grew, the payroll did as well. Ralph’s wife, Maria, resigned her position as manager at a restoration business to manage the thriving company. Ralph’s son, Ralph Jr. returned from college and began working in USA Distributing’s warehouse, stocking items and picking orders. He stayed with the company, learning all aspects of the business, from the ins-and-outs of delivery, to successful sales and customer service, and then the intricacies of management. Today, he serves as the company’s president.
“Dad’s philosophy is our company’s philosophy and it has been since day one,” says Ralph Jr. “His motto is ‘Never say No’ to a customer. We will always do whatever needs to be done to service our customers, even if it is on a Saturday afternoon or a product request outside our industry.”
As an example, Ralph Jr. remembers a customer who needed a lawnmower. He called an industry contact that provides parts to USA Distributing’s service department. That contact provided some names of his suppliers, and eventually Ralph Jr. found the requested lawnmower at a price in the customer’s budget.
“We work every day to go the extra mile for each of our customers,” Ralph Jr. notes. Baseball great Tommy Lasorda once commented, “There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens.”
When you do business with USA Distributing, you work with players that make it happen … and they do it day in and day out with a smile, with enthusiasm, and with your best interests in mind.
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