Every great journey starts with a single step. Learn more about our story and how we went from a few vending machines to the best team in the industry…The EMPIRE TEAM!
The Empire Story
The Story Begins
Jonathan split his time between the banking industry for two days a week and store management at HEB grocery for the remaining five days. His dedication paid off when he received a scholarship award from the President of HEB at the Houston Food Bank for his outstanding performance. Jonathan, with financial support from his father Keith, ventured into entrepreneurship by purchasing a small vending route comprising six vending machines. He committed to servicing the machines daily after completing his regular work hours, thus giving rise to the birth of EMPIRE.
Time to Grow
Empire acquires M&D Vending, and in the aftermath of the acquisition, Keith, the father, assumes the roles of CFO and General Manager at Empire, while Bianca, the mother, takes on the position of Administrator within the company.
Jordan Joins the Team
Jonathan’s sibling, Jordan Abernathy, becomes part of Empire in the capacity of Vice President of Sales.
Empire acquires Debbie’s Happy Vending and enters into a partnership with Cantaloupe Systems. The company implements telemetry technology across all vending machines and initiates the pre-picking process, eliminating the concept of a “warehouse on wheels.”
Empire acquires M&G Vending, giving rise to the birth of Empire Coffee!
Welcome Sandy and The Empire Market
The inaugural Empire Market is introduced, and Sandy Schoenthaler becomes a valued member of the Empire family, contributing her extensive 35 years of experience.
Empire To Go
Empire inaugurates the EmpireToGo food kitchen, commencing the production and distribution of a variety of fresh food options. The company extends its presence into Austin and San Antonio, while concurrently surpassing a milestone of over 1,000 vending machines.
Empire attains the milestone of 100 markets and concurrently acquires Corporate Vending Partners.
The Biggest & Best
Empire emerges as the largest independent operation in Southeast Texas. (Fulfillment Warehouse Team pictured above)
Keith’s Cousin, Tony Banner, becomes a part of the Empire family in the role of Vice President overseeing sales for Empire Coffee.
Empire initiates Operation- Empire Gives Back, contributing over 10,000 meal bags to churches in the Houston Area to provide holiday meals for families.