Our Story

Founded in 1948 by Ken Schaefer, Schaefer Associates, Inc. has been in the gift and gourmet industry for nearly 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 71 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 28 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. Please let us know if you have any issues or if we can be of further assistance to you.

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Our Team

Corporate

Michael Harshbarger 
 President

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

Florida

Jimmy Carden
Florida Panhandle

Jimmy joined the Schaefer Associates team in April of 2017. Having spent 30 years in sales and marketing for various industries, Jimmy turned his attention to housewares in 2015. Jimmy enjoys getting to know his customers and their stores. He resides in both

Alabama and Mississippi.

Contact Jimmy

404-791-0557 ph

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

Midwest

Tina Ostrander 
Kansas and Western NE
Stacey Ellis
Southern IL/Eastern MO

Tina joined Schaefer Associates in July of 2017.  She has an extensive background in specialty retail and has worked for years in her families kitchen/gift store. Looking to expand on her sales experience, she 

decided to join us and bring her knowledge to the wholesale side.  Tina's customers will greatly benefit from her many years in the industry. Tina resides in Maize, KS.

Contact Tina

316-772-7656

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

816-309-9085

Stacey joined the Schaefer sales team in April of 2006 after having been 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

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Representing Outstanding Lines to Exceptional Customers