Our Story - 75 years strong
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, 2023 marks our 75th anniversary in the Midwest. 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 seven 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 almost 50 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Southern IL/Eastern MO
Vicki joined our team in January of 2023. She has been in the gift industry for years and has a great working relationship with her customers. Vicki has an extensive background in helping her customers choose the right items for their stores. Her outgoing personality will win you over. Vicki resides in Wichita, KS.
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.
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.
Barb came on board with Schaefer Associates in January of 2023. A seasoned Sales Rep, Barb has been in the industry for over 30 years and is well versed in both Housewares and Gourmet foods. Her product knowledge assures her customers are well served.
Barb makes her home in Bennington, NE.
Pam re-joined Schaefer Associates in January of 2023. Many of you will remember Pam as our Iowa Sales Rep from 1999-2012. Pam has extensive knowledge in both retail and wholesale and her personality is one of her greatest assets. She loves her customers as much as her customers love her! Pam lives in Bouton, IA.