Our Story

Founded in 1948 by Ken Schaefer, Schaefer Associates, Inc. has been in the gift and gourmet industry for over seven decades.  After Ken’s death in 1986 his daughter took over ownership of the business. Then, in June of 2004, Michael Harshbarger, a sales rep with Schaefer Associates since 1997, purchased the corporation. Michael previously owned and managed a gourmet and specialty shop in his hometown of Keokuk, Iowa.


Originally based in Kansas City, Missouri, our presence in the Midwest is 74 years strong. In 2004 we added Southern Illinois to our charter states of MO, IA, NE, and KS. Our most recent addition was the state of Florida in January of 2012.


Our company has six sales representatives covering the six state region of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Southern Illinois, and Florida. The business office is now located in Belleair Bluffs, Florida.


Customer service is a Schaefer Associates tradition.  We pride ourselves in going that extra mile for our customers and vendors. Our current rep force has over 30 years of combined service with the company. It is this kind of dedication that has earned Schaefer Associates the respect of industry leaders. Since 2007 our sales group has earned 10 awards for excellence in our field.


We appreciate your interest in Schaefer Associates and hope you enjoy using our web site. For wholesale pricing contact your Sales Rep or the main office.  Please let us know if you have any issues or if we can be of further assistance to you.


Our Team


Michael Harshbarger 

Michael first joined Schaefer Associates in December of 1997. After two stints as sales rep for Schaefer, he purchased the company in June of 2004. Michael owned and managed a retail store prior to joining Schaefer Associates and his knowledge of both the buyers and sales reps worlds have enabled the company to grow. Michael lives in Belleair Bluffs, FL.

Contact Michael

727-600-8038  ph

Lauren Koehler
Office Support Manager

Lauren graduated from Western Illinois University in December of 2016 with her Masters in Communication.  After college Lauren worked in local offices as well as in retail.  Her focus now is on Schaefer Associates as well as helping to manage the family farm.  Lauren started with Schaefer Associates in July of 2018 and is a great asset to our team.  Lauren resides in Basco, IL.

Contact Lauren

319-520-5338 ph


Rick Szymanski
Florida Panhandle

Rick joined the Schaefer Associates team in August of 2021 bringing with him a wealth of knowledge after having managed a large gourmet/kitchen store in Tallahassee.  Prior to that, Rick had an extensive career in law enforcement from which he retired.  Rick's customers will enjoy his easy demeanor and knowledge of products. Rick lives in Tallahassee, FL.

Contact Rick


Deborah Brammer
NE/South Florida

Deborah came to Schaefer Associates in April of 2016 bringing with her 38 years of sales and buying experience.  She has been representing housewares to the gift and specialty trade for the past 12 years in southern Florida. Deborah loves a challenge and enjoys working closely with her accounts. Her knowledge of our industry will be appreciated by her customers. Deborah makes her home in Delray Beach, FL. 

Contact Deborah

561-251-8195 ph


Robin Osterberg
Kansas/W. Nebraska

Robin joined the Schaefer team in May of 2020.  Having spent 14 years in retail stores specializing in housewares and gourmet foods, Robin's knowledge will be invaluable to her customers.  Robin is also an avid baker and cook and loves coming up with recipes for our products.  Robin resides in Liberty, MO.

Contact Robin


Christen Larson
Western MO

Christen started learning the Schaefer ropes from her mother, Sandy White,

in May of 2015.  Having a background in sales and 

communications, Christen is able to use those skills to the benefit of her customers. Her favorite part of the job is helping her customers decide on new items & assortments for their stores. Christen 

resides in Lee's Summit, MO.

Contact Christen


Stacey Ellis
Southern IL/Eastern MO

Stacey joined the Schaefer sales team in April of 2006 after having been in sales of promotional materials for years. Stacey’s knowledge of sales and products as well as her energetic personality are attributes her customers appreciate. Stacey lives in Collinsville, IL.

Contact Stacey

618-344-5485  ph

Jenny VonDollen
Eastern NE/Iowa 

Jenny joined the Schaefer Associates team in April of 2015 after being a Schaefer

customer for 8 years while owning her own specialty store in the Omaha, NE area. 

Jenny's experience as a store owner and her knowledge of our lines is a huge asset for her customers. Jenny resides in Omaha, NE.

Contact Jenny

402-681-5333  ph