September 16, 2019
Load King was founded in 1958 by James Merrill Chupp and originally operated as an equipment distribution business serving the grocery store industry. The company has transformed significantly throughout its history, yet remains under the careful leadership of the Chupp family to this day.
Even though Load King functions quite differently than it did in the beginning, the family values upon which it was founded have remained and have helped guide the company through many market driven changes.
Load King’s first transformation began in 1972 when a decision was made to invest in metalworking equipment to become a direct supplier to their existing customers. By then, James had brought his two sons, Jimmy and Charles, into the business. With their help, Load King became a manufacturer of stainless steel ‘back-of-house’ products such as tables, sinks, carts, and baking racks initially, quickly evolving to include check-out counters, food courts, photo laboratories, and trash compactors.
Load King continued to adapt with the market over the years, experiencing a second major transformation in 1999 when Albertsons, one of Load King’s larger clients, purchased 300 licenses from Seattle’s Best Coffee. Albertsons hired Load King to manufacture and install three hundred coffee kiosks into their grocery stores within a three month period.
At that time, a coffee kiosk was not only a new concept to Load King, but the food service industry as a whole. Despite the immense scale of the project, Load King delivered on time and under budget. One year later, Albertsons replaced the Seattle’s Best licenses with three hundred Starbucks licenses and again hired Load King, this time to transform all three hundred coffee kiosks with new finishes, equipment, and signage within three months. Again, Load King delivered.
These kiosk projects were the beginning of a long and successful series of opportunities for Load King as they found their niche in the turnkey store package market. In 2004, the company decided to sharpen this focus by limiting their product offerings to building full-service kiosks and store packages, meeting the diverse needs of store owners.
Read more from Load King’s website.