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Company History – Plumbing Supplies for 80+ Years
Kessler’s roots as a wholesale plumbing supplier began in 1935 with Rae Kessler, a first-generation Russian immigrant, and her husband, Morris, a plumber, who rented a storefront in Paterson, NJ, for his equipment. One day while Morris was on a job, a passerby asked if he could buy a used radiator in the window. The enterprising Mrs. Kessler immediately made the sale, which became the first transaction in the fledgling new business, Kessler Plumbing & Heating Supply Company.
For the next 40 years, the Kesslers operated a traditional plumbing supply house while Paterson’s numerous textile mills and manufacturing facilities provided a steady stream of contractor customers. Eventually, Morris and Rae’s son, Robert “Bobby” Kessler, a former belly gunner on a B-17 during World War II, joined the business. He became president in 1954 and was responsible for moving the company from its original location to a 48,000-square-foot facility several blocks away.
From Contractor-Based to B-to-B Master Plumbing Supply Distributor
In 1975, Bobby began shifting away from a traditional contractor-based supply house toward becoming a business-to-business master distributor. The company, then known as Kessler Industries, started reaching outside its core New Jersey market to serve wholesalers in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, later expanding to cover the entire Boston to Baltimore corridor. From 1975 to 1994, Kessler systematically divested itself from contractor-direct sales and focused entirely on the wholesaler channel.
In 1994, the company was acquired by Neil Kessler and shortly thereafter embarked on a nationwide expansion plan to better service a geographically diverse customer base. The company rebranded itself as Kessler Sales & Distribution – or KSD – to better define the role it played in the marketplace. With distribution centers in all the key markets – KSD enhanced its ability to provide quality products in a timely manner to nearly 2,000 independent wholesalers across the country.
In late 2017, KSD entered into a joint venture with Wieland Copper Products – the US manufacturing division of Wieland-Werke AG, headquartered in Ulm, Germany. This arrangement lasted just 3 years as Wieland decided to exit the copper water tube market in the US in the summer of 2020.
About Us Today – Now Part of the Mueller Industries Family of Companies
In August 2020, KSD was acquired by Mueller Industries where it is operated as an independent, autonomous company inside the Mueller Industries family of companies. We are vertically integrated with Mueller Streamline / Howell Metals to provide our customers with US produced copper tube. Mueller recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017 with principal business segments in piping systems, climate products and industrial metals. Please visit www.muellerindustries.com for more information.
Our Pledge: Supply Chain Integrity
Our promise to our wholesale customers is that we will provide products that will meet or exceed your expectations and the expectations of your customers. Additionally – we are fully committed to supply chain integrity and single-minded in our approach to the market exclusively through the wholesale channel.