1964 to 1974
Hallmark Building Supplies, Inc. traces its beginnings to founder O. Joseph Balthazor (Joe), current President and Chief Executive Officer. Joe was Vice President of Sales for a distributor of plywood and laminate company in the Milwaukee area from 1964 to 1974. When that company went out of business, Joe founded Hallmark.
Hallmark Building Supplies, Inc. was incorporated in October 1974 and its first day of business was November 4th, 1974. With the trust, respect, and commitment from The Consoweld Corporation’s Dura Beauty decorative laminate, and The DuPont Company’s Corian® solid surface, we were able to open our doors in a modest office and warehouse space on Mill Road and 48th Street in Milwaukee. A "hallmark" is a mark or symbol of genuineness or high quality (Webster's New World Dictionary). When our company was founded, the name Hallmark was selected because we wanted a name that stood for "the best."
Providing a reliable source of supply has always been one of Hallmark’s primary functions. However, since Corian® was a new product in the mid-1970s, finding a reliable source of fabrication was difficult. To ensure reliable supply, Hallmark began fabricating Corian® countertops in 1976. As Hallmark built product demand in the Milwaukee area, the supply of quality fabricators became plentiful and the company returned to focus solely on wholesale distribution.
On January 1st, 1982, at the request of DuPont, Hallmark expanded into Minnesota and opened a branch office in Eden Prairie. Corian® was Hallmark's sole product in Minnesota until September, 1982 when Consoweld’s Dura Beauty became available and Hallmark was awarded the State of Minnesota.
1988 to 1990
Hallmark was awarded the DuPont™ Tyvek® distributorship in Southeastern Wisconsin in 1988. Based on Hallmark’s success with Tyvek® in Wisconsin, DuPont asked Hallmark to set up distribution in Eastern Missouri including St. Louis in 1989 and Northwestern Missouri including Kansas City in 1990.
By the mid-1990s, Hallmark had sustained significant growth and had evolved into a company that was operating under two different business models: a commodity model, characterized by the laminate business, and a branded model, characterized by Corian® and Tyvek®. The commodity market dictated low prices and very few value-added services, while the branded business focused on brand image, marketing, training and a highly-educated sales force committed to assisting customers and driving product business. So a decision was made to divest of the laminate line which through a merger had become the Pionite Line.
Hallmark saw history repeat itself in May 2000. DuPont introduced a new product, DuPont™ Zodiaq® quartz surfaces, and Hallmark was one of the first distributors to pilot the launch and inventory the product. Hallmark recognized the niche this product fit in the marketplace; however, there was not a reliable source of fabrication supply. Manufacturing countertops with Zodiaq® required a completely different set of equipment and expertise than Corian®, and only a few of Hallmark’s existing fabricators wanted to enter the hard surfaces market.
Knowing that a reliable source of supply was mandatory for a product like Zodiaq®, Hallmark created a separate company: Pollux Manufacturing, Inc. Pollux is a wholesale, high volume, state-of-the-art hard surfaces manufacturing company and operated one of the only facilities of its kind in the United States. Pollux was sold in July of 2010 because the Corian® fabrication network had invested in manufacturing hard product like Zodiaq® and granite.
In 2005, Hallmark purchased the assets of a concrete countertop manufacturer and launched Apollo Manufacturing, LLC. Initial manufacturing began in Milwaukee and moved to Minneapolis in 2006. Hallmark also began to carry Soterra Natural Stone Surfacing System products in 2006.
In June 2009, Hallmark was awarded additional DuPont Surfaces geography including the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Northeastern Nevada, the western edge of Texas, and eastern Wyoming.
In February 2010, Hallmark was awarded additional DuPont Surfaces geography including the states of Arizona and Southern Nevada. We leased office space in Scottsdale and used a 3PL for warehousing and delivery of Corian® and Zodiaq®. In February 2010 Hallmark also forged a unique partnership with DuPont and Gemini Contract Services, LLC (A Division of Hallmark) was established to service the areas of Southern California and Hawaii by providing transaction and logistics services. DuPont performed the sales and marketing in this unique model. A 3PL was used for warehousing and delivery.
In March 2011, an office and warehouse facility was established in Mira Loma, CA to support Gemini Contract Services and service primarily the Southern California and Hawaii regions, and, we leased our own offices and warehouse to Phoenix, AZ.
In March 2012 we continued our unique partnership with DuPont Surfaces to service the areas of Iowa and Nebraska. And, in October 2012 we will begin servicing Texas and Oklahoma under that same partnership. Separately, in August of 2012, DuPont Building Innovations awarded us the Eastern half of Minnesota for DuPont Tyvek®.
On October 30th, 2015 DuPont Surfaces awarded more geography for Corian® and Zodiaq®: The states of Southern Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
On April 1st 2016, DuPont terminated the partnership arrangement in which we performed the transactional and logistics functions and they performed the Sales and Marketing function we established in 2010 and 2012. We were awarded the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska in a traditional distribution (sales, marketing, and physical distribution) model.