North Star Agency is Guiding the Way in the Foodservice Industry

North Star Agency is a manufacturer’s rep group specializing in commercial foodservice equipment and smallwares in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Western Wisconsin. Our company’s story is woven from the classic ingredients of entrepreneurial spirit — humble beginnings, relentless hard work, and an unwavering dedication to customers and partners.

The journey of North Star began in the early 1970s with Tom Anderson, a young father with a vision, working under the guidance of John Pafenbach. Tom’s initial role at North Star laid the groundwork for what would become a remarkable career in the foodservice industry. Tom founded Lakestate Sales and set a new standard in the industry, representing leading brands such as Continental Plastics, Homer Laughlin China, Cardinal Glass, and Baxter Manufacturing.

Shining Brightly with Integrity and Respect

Tom Anderson’s approach to business reflected his life philosophy — treating people with respect, never taking anything for granted, and proactively seeking business opportunities. These values, deeply ingrained in the company’s culture, were not only shared by his business partners and employees over the years but were also passionately imparted to his son, Todd, who grew up around the foodservice industry. Even our branding carried a personal touch, with the star on our first business card being a creative contribution from Todd’s mother, Lonnie!

After a diverse journey of education and experiences, including playing professional soccer in England, Todd Anderson returned to his roots, joining Lakestate Sales. This homecoming culminated in the merger of Lakestate Sales back with North Star and Todd’s partnership with Jim Froelich in 2001. By 2007, Todd and his wife Krista Anderson, a skilled CPA and controller, took over the reins, guiding North Star Agency into a new era.

Expanding Horizons and Innovating Customer Service

Today, North Star Agency proudly continues our tradition of representing leading manufacturers and actively participating in local, regional, and national organizations to support and nurture our industry’s growth.

We set ourselves apart with unparalleled offerings like site surveys, a service where we visit businesses to evaluate their electrical, gas, and plumbing systems in preparation for the addition of new foodservice equipment. We have multiple test kitchens and a mobile demonstration center featuring equipment from many of our manufacturers. Our team will come to you for demos and training! Our hands-on approach is part of a larger recipe for customer service that has been perfected and passed down through generations.