In no small way is FP Goodwin, Co. rooted in history. Our history drives us as a business and drives me as a business owner. Part of that drive is to innovate and change. This site is a (long-overdue) step in the direction of modernization. While most of the following is a repetition of thoughts from around the site, I feel it is important to share the importance of our history as many times as possible.
The vision for FP Goodwin, Co. and the services that I want to provide are based on the unwavering commitment to customer service, quality, and integrity of my great grandfather, Frank Pierce Goodwin.
Frank Pierce Goodwin started Goodwin’s Market around 1914. The business was operated as a general store, offering baked goods, meat, produce, grains, sporting goods, shoes and dry goods. He would drive to Portland once a week to fill customer’s orders and pick up supplies for his retail floor. The business was taken over by my grandmother after his death and my father took over the business in the mid 1970’s. When I was fourteen, donning chainmail gloves and apron, I trained as a butcher at the store that my great grandfather had opened 75 years earlier.
Four years later I started working for a small seafood company processing shrimp at the peak of the season. This job would mark the start of a ten-year involvement with the Maine fishing industry including work in processing, management, trucking/distribution, and wholesaling. During the slow periods between seasons I could always find a home in the meat room at Goodwin’s working for my father to supplement my income and support our family’s business.
While working as a lobster wholesaler I also started a small record label under which I released and licensed a number of solo projects, domestically and overseas as well as securing distribution through the label for my wife Sonya, aka. Sontiago. It was a daunting exercise in bridging art and business that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Had my schooling come before an attempt to run my art as a business, I would have had a much more informed and productive approach.
After reaching what I consider Indie success, with releases in Europe, Japan, Canada and the US, thousands of sales and reaching #3 on the college hip hop charts…. I had to check out. Too much industry, not enough heart. I am still an artist, though. Just one that’s on hiatus.
At twenty-seven I went to work at the Hannaford Distribution Center. This job tapped me directly into a link in the corporate fresh foods supply chain and provided me the time for touring, and then later, for school. After graduating with a degree in business administration, I took a part time job with So Po Wine Company while still working full time at Hannaford. This part time driving job turned into a full time position. I left Hannaford after eight years to start the next phase of my career at So Po Wine Company, testing the waters of business ownership with the purchase of a small store on the Gorham/Buxton line and a return to the fishing industry on Portland’s waterfront as well as a collaboration with Martha Puttnam of Farm Fresh.
After two and a half decades in retail, wholesale, agriculture, distribution and customer service, the next step was to apply my experience to my own vision. I wanted to build something that offers solutions to some of the inefficiencies that exist in our supply chain here in Maine by facilitating a connectedness between consumers and producers of Maine agricultural goods and the wholesalers that source those products.
FP Goodwin, Co.is that vision turned into reality.
By consolidating deliveries of goods that are destined for the same markets into a single stream, pooling products that are going in the same direction and offering customer maintenance, I can eliminate some of the costs associated with transportation for small farms, producers, and wholesalers. I am also able to pick up products in outlying locations from producers and bring their products to retail or wholesale customers on the other end of the route.
This model reduces fuel use, allows farms and businesses to keep their personnel focused on production rather than on transportation, opens up new markets for businesses in a cost effective way (without labor, fuel, and other associated vehicle costs) and intrinsically offers the opportunity to cross market with other producers. Many small farms, bakeries, beverage companies, and wholesalers do not have enough labor or product volume to justify expanding markets. I believe that my service is part of the solution in improving the economics of distribution in this great state of Maine.
Understanding our customers means making information about FP Goodwin, Co. more readily available on your phone, tablet or computer. It means finding additional ways to connect with food producers and manufacturers, with retailers and restaurants, and with the customers who shop at those retailers and eat at those restaurants.
Please take a stroll through this site and explore as much of it as you can. I’m particularly excited to be able to share our catalog as…well…an actual catalog. In links throughout the site you’ll be able to see our seasonal catalog that digitally showcases the vast majority of our offerings. The catalog will be updated at least four times per calendar year.
I’d also like to take a moment to invite you to visit our social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram). There we will share specific shout-outs about products made by our fantastic cadre of vendors and food producers we work with.
Finally, I’d like to invite you to reach out and start a conversation with us. We’d love to hear from you:
- about suggestions for products you’d like to see us adding to our catalog
- about specific places where you’d like to see our products
- if you are a food producer (of any size) that is looking for support in your expansion
- if you’re another food distributor looking to collaborate with us
- if you’re a retailer that is looking to expand or update your assortment
We also love to hear from those who have skills applicable to FP Goodwin, Co as a business. Our doors are always open to discussion if you’re in marketing, sales, distribution or logistics. Collaboration is a key element to our business and we are passionate about adding voices as we grow.
All our best to you and thank you for being part of the FP Goodwin, Co. family.