About Us (The Paper Mart Story...)

From humble beginnings, our business started in the garage behind the house.
Painted in the 40s by Leonard Borman


It was the start of the Great Depression. We moved into a small building on Marengo Street in downtown Los Angeles. We grew to a company with 14 employees and serviced the restaurant and hospitality industries. We grew conservatively, putting most of the profit back into the business and by avoiding debt we were able to survive, but not escape these very hard times.


The end of the war brought a new era. Robert Frick, second-generation son, took over the operation of the company and we changed our name to Frick Paper Co. We also changed what we sold to concentrate on consumables such as paper towels and tissue, janitorials, and shipping supplies. We bought Claremont Chemical Company and started manufacturing our own cleaning supplies.


John Frick, third-generation son, took over leadership of Frick Paper Co. and renamed it Paper Mart. He also changed our sales strategy from a salesman style business to a regional discount mail order catalog business. We grew fast as the first direct mail discount distributor in the packaging business. Paper Mart showed its innovative side and installed one of the first real time (not punch card) computer systems in the United States.


Tom Frick, third-generation son, joined the company and helped us put all our energy into specializing in packaging supplies.


Due to customer loyalty and satisfaction, we grew enough that we had to move again. This time, we expanded into a 5-acre warehouse and widened our product line to include a broad range of both retail and industrial packaging. With our increasing Internet sales, we became a national company.


Buffy Frick Simoni, fourth-generation daughter, stepped into the leadership of Paper Mart. She brings Paper Mart experience in other industries and gives us the vision and strength to be a vibrant full service company for the years ahead.


Our family business started in a garage behind the family home in rural Los Angeles. At its inception the business was named California Towel Supply. It served the small growing city of Los Angeles. It was a family enterprise: G.A. Frick was the salesman and deliveryman. Emma Frick did the bookkeeping and washing.


It was World War II and the challenges of running the company during wartime were huge. There was a labor shortage due to the war; everyone was concentrating on the war effort. Employees were hard to find and keep especially in a service business. Robert Frick started working half time in defense and half time in the company driving trucks to keep it going.


Frick Paper Co. prospered with our new products and so we needed to expand to a new building in the City of Commerce, still in the Los Angeles area. We purchased Airex Paper Co. and started making our own paper towels and tissue.


This was our first direct mail catalog at a time when direct mail was just starting to be a new way of marketing.


Tom Frick and John Frick ran the company together as partners. They were among the first to understand the importance of the new and yet-to-be-proved Internet. Paper Mart was one of the very first companies selling direct to customers as an online distributor. We were one of the pioneers of Internet shopping and again one of the first companies to offer pictures of products online.


The magic combination of great service at a guaranteed low price resulted in Paper Mart outgrowing its existing warehouse again. The Frick family purchased our current 10½ - acre facility in the City of Orange, where we are located now. We proudly became the largest discount packaging company in the United States. In this location we installed some of the most advanced warehouse and shipping systems available to get your order to you inexpensively and fast.

PS – and our 5th generation is coming.