A Post-Sandy Success Story: FOX PAPER

by Lindy Regan

Fox Paper has been adding an extra measure of flair and festivity to other peoples’ parties, events, and holiday gatherings for almost thirty years. Now, this purveyor of upscale disposable party supplies and paper goods has something of its own to celebrate … and we are all invited!

Two years after suffering a blow that would have crushed most comparable businesses, not to mention the spirits of all involved, owner Larry Fox and his loyal team of longtime employees have just expanded their operations into larger quarters here at Raritan Center. The move not only represents an against-all-odds comeback for Fox Paper’s wholesale business, it opens the door on an exciting new addition to the company and to the Raritan Center community at large. As of December 1, 2014, Fox Paper will also operate a cash and carry retail outlet open to the public at its brand-new 125 Campus Drive location.

Since 1986, Fox Paper had operated a successful business in Brooklyn, serving party stores, caterers, restaurants, and a roster of other longtime customers throughout the United States. Then came October 29, 2012. Says Larry, “If I had made a list of a hundred ways Fox Paper could go out of business--and I have put a lot of thought into those possibilities--not one of them would have been Hurricane Sandy. If I was in Florida, yes; North Carolina, maybe; the Jersey Shore, of course. But Brooklyn, New York? Really??”

Living in New Jersey, it was initially difficult for Larry to get across the bridge for several days after the storm to see how Fox Paper’s 36,000-square-foot warehouse and headquarters in Sunset Park had fared. “I thought there’d just be a little water damage,” he recalls. “I finally get in, go inside, and it was total devastation. You don’t know what to do, whether to scream, to cry, you just go numb.

There was no phone service, no power and inventory devastation. After talking to my financial people and people in the company it became a black or white choice: find a new location and start all over or go out of business. I started this business 29 years ago and that was probably the toughest call I ever had to make. We’d lost everything.”

Still in shock but determined not to give up or give in, Larry relentlessly worked the phones and his network of contacts until one of those connections led him to Federal Business Centers and Raritan Center. By the middle of November 2012, Fox Paper was up and running again as a new business. “We didn’t have time to waste. We’re a service business. Every day we stayed out is a day we could lose accounts.” Starting from scratch in a new state, in a new location one-quarter the size of its previous facilities, not to mention in a new economy was a struggle to say the least.

“We’ve had to figure out different ways of doing things,” explains Larry. “It’s a different world than when we started. That was Fox Paper Brooklyn; now we’re Fox Paper New Jersey, and were moving forward in new ways, like the addition of the cash and carry open to the public.  (See the box for more information).  The constant amidst all the upheaval is the staff. They made the move to Raritan Center, every one of them having been part of the Fox Paper family for 15 years or more, and it is their hard work and dedication Larry credits with the company’s survival and advancement. “There’s only so much I could do,” he says. “They’ve been great".

Larry Fox sees building a strong network among many of the businesses in Raritan Center as another way ahead for all. “We all should get together and see where our strengths are, and focus on the synergies among us. When you can work off of each other’s strengths it just makes all the companies better. And I think that’s one of the real positives of being part of this community.”

Tell your family! Tell your friends! The “special” in special occasions starts here!

Everyone is welcome at Fox Paper’s new retail outlet. For the very best in disposable tableware, party supplies and paper goods, make this your first stop when you’re planning a party, a bar mitzvah, a christening, a wedding, or any special event. Like Larry says, “If you didn’t know our stuff was disposable, you’d think it’s real.”

WAREHOUSE SALE

December 3, 2014 – December 6, 2014

Fox Paper is among ten luxury retailers taking part in Raritan Center’s
WINTER WAREHOUSE SALE EXTRAVAGANZA, December 3 – 6, offering discounts on a full range of upscale paper goods and party supplies.
Stop in for huge savings!

 
Business Name:
 
Fox Paper
Interviewed:
Larry Fox, Owner
Business Type:
Wholesale distribution of upscale paper and party supplies; janitorial products; retail cash & carry shop operating out of Raritan Center headquarters
 
Customer Base:
 
Brick & mortar party stores; caterers; restaurants; food service; general business for janitorial supplies
Territory:
 
Nationwide
Years in Business: 29
Years at Raritan Center:
 
2
Number of Employees:
 
10
Address:
 
125 Campus Drive, Edison, NJ 08837
Phone:
800.369.3263
Email:
 
Website: foxpaper.com
Distinguishing Characteristics:
Service and quality. "That's what we started with 29 years ago. That's been the key to our longevity."
Interview Date:
November 2014
Photography:
Insight Photography

 

 
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