In 1998, Captain Terry Putman and Captain Don Dixon had a dream of starting a business that could provide for their families. They started small, with an 800 square foot warehouse and a small fiberglass boat for deliveries, but their idea was simple: offer great products at a great price. Their philosophy proved successful, and the business grew over the years to become much larger than they ever could have imagined.
Sadly, Captain Putman has since passed away, but his legacy lives on through the memories of many of the early customers who are still working on their boats. Captain Dixon sold the company to Jeremy and Julie Putman in 2004, but he remains active in the industry, owning and operating a tugboat in Dubuque.
Today, between the grocery store and the tug service, the company has over 50 employees and more than 12,000 square feet of warehousing and storage space. They are a warehouse, not a shopping service, and they stock what they sell. This means that they have one job to do, and they do it better than any other grocery vendor on the Upper Mississippi River.
Their commitment to quality is evident in everything they do. From short turnaround times on deliveries to last-minute order changes, they can accommodate almost anything. When they fill grocery orders, they don’t push off day-old products onto their customers. They guarantee that their products are fresh when delivered and have been properly handled from their dock to the customer’s refrigerator. Their specially built delivery boats have freezers onboard to properly maintain temperatures, and their delivery vans and trucks have refrigeration units as well. They can handle any size order, from tow boats to dredges, and they have the people, equipment, and processes in place to ensure that their products are of the highest quality.
Their commitment to quality has not gone unnoticed. They are fully inspected by the State of Iowa and the USDA, and they operate 13 tug boats in 6 states. With their dedication to providing great products at a great price, it’s no wonder that they have been so successful.