Nubani Trading Company, launched in 1986 by Fouad Nubani as a wholesale candy company, is run today by Fouad’s sons, Sam and Nader. “My dad started out small, wholesaling candy, and little by little added bigger name manufacturers like Kraft, Hershey and Mars to his roster,” explains Sam Nubani. The company went from storing its stock in one public storage rental space in 1986, through a series of expansions to today’s 112,000 square foot building in Bellwood, IL. Now, the company is maxed out as far as space, and, “we’re looking for a building that is a minimum of 150,000 square feet,” Nubani reports.
On average, the company grows 30 to 35 percent each year, with sales around $20 million in 2011. “This year we’re on pace to do about $25 million in sales, and we attribute our success to honest values and hard work. We’re diversifying our business and adding new products such as health and beauty. We added that category about a year ago, and are getting an extra two to three million in sales from it,” Nubani explains. Nubani Trading also recently added food and grocery categories. “As we introduce new product lines to our company, we take it slow and make sure we master these lines and know the field well before we jump into other things,” he points out.
“We used to be 99 percent candies and novelties and we’re still a candy company, with about 65 percent candy. We are one of the biggest liquidation companies in the U.S. with candy and groceries.” Nubani continues, “There are only two or three companies nationwide that the famous candy makers will sell their overstock to. We’re one of them. We are in good standing with the large candy manufacturers because we sell to people who are not going to affect their market.” Nubani Trading does due diligence before selling its merchandise, making sure buyers are secondary market customers who do not affect the business of the companies from which they are buying. “We make the product disappear without making noise.”
The business has changed a little in recent years, Nubani notes, with more sugar free and dark chocolate products. “Some companies are dropping their bars to a smaller size, but that doesn’t really affect our business. If consumers are looking to buy a Snickers or a Reese’s peanut butter cup, they’re not looking at the calories.” The industry has changed for the better, he adds, because the economy is down, not in spite of it. “Our business is doing well because a lot of people are looking for values, and if they come to us they are going to get deals and values.” Accordingly, Nubani Trading Company has increased its people power from 12 to 28 employees. “With 12 employees everybody was doing everything, but now people have specific job duties and titles,” Nubani explains. “We’re building departments like human resources, logistics, and shipping and receiving. This will cement our foundation. We’re doing what it takes to deal with the growth of the business, but retain the core values we had as a small family business.”
One of those core values is personal service. Nubani Trading sells to independent retailers, including mom and pop, convenience and dollar stores, gas stations and small grocers, and carries hundreds, maybe a thousand different product lines, Nubani explains. “Yet as big as we are, we treat everyone with the respect they deserve. We make sure our customers are happy with their orders, and that they are successful with sales of our products. If you come to us, you’re going to leave here happy with our prices, products and service.”
For more information:
Nubani Trading Co.
2850 Oak Street, Building A
Bellwood, IL 60104