Standard Distributors honored with Spirit of the Economy Award
The Gaston Gazette
Sit down with Tom and Tim Efird to talk about Standard Distributors and its history in the community and one element is constant throughout the entire conversation: laughter.
This father and son duo take their obligations to the community and its ongoing improvement seriously, but humor infuses both their memories of past accomplishments and their realization of future challenges.
The two recently talked with a Gazette reporter about their reaction to the company being honored with the Gaston Business Association's annual Spirit of the Economy Award.
The award, sponsored by Truist Bank, is presented to a company or individual contributing to the overall economic development efforts in Gaston County and North Carolina.
Standard Distributors is the wholesale supplier of Anheuser Busch products to grocery stores, convenience stores, bars, and restaurants around Gaston and Lincoln counties and employs 45 people in sales and distribution.
Tim, 52, is president of the company which is located off Spencer Mountain Road in Ranlo. Tom, soon to be 82, its founder and former chief executive, "retired" more than a decade ago, but he still comes to the office nearly every day.
Tom, whose father served as Gaston County sheriff and also in the General Assembly, was himself a practicing attorney when the county voted to allow the legal sale of beer and wine back in 1967.
Soon thereafter, Standard Distributors was born.
"I went from the law to beverages and became an honest man," Tom laughs. "But we were aware from Day One that we had to be good corporate citizens, we had to be responsible to the community."
Of the company's receipt of the Spirit of the Economy Award, Tim said, "It's great honor. Probably undeserved, but a great honor. We believe deeply in the goals of the Gaston Business Association."
Tom added, "We have a direct interest in the continued prosperity of this community. We have a small garden here in Gaston and Lincoln counties, and we tend it carefully. We want it to grow and prosper."
Noting that the company has long been active in economic development efforts in the county, Tom added, "Our motives are not entirely altruistic. When the working man does well, we do well."
Both father and son spoke about the high quality of employee Standard Distributors has been able to attract and maintain over the years with Tim saying, "Nobody works harder than these guys. They start early and they work hard."
Those same employees, the Efirds noted, are active in the community in their own right and are strongly supportive of the annual United Way fundraising campaign.
The pair also emphasized their awareness that their product - alcoholic beverages - has to marketed with a strong sense of social responsibility.
"We are supportive of every control put on our business by the state," said Tom. "We are happy to be regulated."
Bill Poteat may be reached at 704-869-1855 or firstname.lastname@example.org.