Like many small successful businesses, North Star Agency's history is made up of classic ingredients: humble beginnings, hard work, unyielding integrity and a dedication to its customers and partners.
Tom Anderson began his career in the foodservice industry in the early 1970s as an employee of North Star, then owned by John Pafenbach. As a young father, Tom left North Star to start Lakestate Sales, representing a handful of top brands like Continental Plastics, Homer Laughlin China, Cardinal Glass, Baxter Manufacturing and Robot Coupe (which we still represent today).
Tom's business philosophy was not too unlike his approach to life: treat people well, take nothing for granted and don't expect business to come to you. These principals were shared by his business partners and employees other the years, and were handed down to his son, Todd, who grew up in the business.
After attending college and seeing a bit of the world (he played professional soccer in England), Todd joined Lakestate Sales, eventually merging back with North Star and partner Jim Froelich in 2001, with an eye on growing the business.
Since then, the combined North Star Agency has continued to add to its team of experience sales and support staff and now represents over 30 top manufacturers in nearly every category of the industry, all while not forgetting its history. Tom won't let that happen. Though officially retired, he still rides along on sales calls and demos to stay connected with the industry and people he's come to love.
Looking forward, Todd and the North Star Agency team continues to be active participants in local, regional and national organizations that support and grow the foodservice industry.