Jason Jarrett will be the first to tell customers that his products might not be the cheapest.
But no one will give them better service than the people at Central Industrial Sales Inc. (CIS) in Richland because “we kill it with service and cleanliness,” he said.
On the day of the interview for this story, Jarrett – the president of the company – was driving to Walla Walla, then to Milton-Freewater, and finally to Hermiston to help customers with parts needed for machinery and needed fast.
What is it exactly that CIS does?
CIS provides industrial supplies and equipment for the dairy, food processing and wine industry and specializes in custom fabrication, industrial cleaning equipment, sanitary fittings, valves, pumps, winery chemicals and winery supplies.
Jarrett said CIS prides itself in responding quickly to a customer’s needs.
“People need their stuff and they need it tonight,” he said.
CIS launched May 20, 1997, when family patriarch Jim “JJ” Jarrett felt there was a need for a complete stainless steel sanitary wholesale supply company in the food-grade business.
“Dad started the company with the encouragement of my mom (Marlene),” said Jason Jarrett. “Dad was working for an industrial supply company. He was calling on food processors. Mom says, ‘Jim, I think we can do this.’”
Marlene Jarrett was a registered nurse at Kennewick Family Medicine at the time. She ended up retiring and did the books for the new business. JJ Jarrett concentrated on sales, especially for food processors who needed small parts and hoses to make their machinery work.
“They worked out of the house in Richland,” their son said. “I turned 16 and was going to Richland High School at the time, and I picked up parts and made deliveries around town.”
From that point on, CIS grew by leaps and bounds.
“We just started growing,” Jason Jarrett said. “We finally moved everything out of the house and into a suite on Lewis Street in Pasco in 1999.”
JJ Jarrett continued to call on food processors around the region.
But Jason Jarrett began to take notice of the growing wine industry at the time.
His father had Jason put together a cover letter, and they sent it to every winery within 100 miles of the Tri-Cities, offering CIS’s services.
“We started getting calls from them, telling us they wanted to try us out,” Jason Jarrett said.
In 2002 there was a massive push with the wineries continuing to expand.
Meanwhile, Jason Jarrett went off to school, graduating from Corban University in 2005 with a degree in pastoral ministry.
“I wasn’t sure that I wanted to get into that, so dad asked me to come work for him on strictly commission,” Jason Jarrett said.
His father continued to work with the food processors while his son handled the winery side of the business.
The younger Jarrett was hooked. He put together a schedule where he spent two days each week in the Walla Walla Valley, and another two days a week in the Yakima Valley.
Success meant growth. Clients could get the parts they needed immediately from CIS, rather than having to send away for them and wait a few days.
“By 2005, that one suite on Lewis Street turned into three suites,” Jason Jarrett said. “And we had to rent out two storage units to store our inventory.”
Later that year, they needed more space and moved into a building near Oregon Street in Pasco.
“By 2008 another massive boom hit the industry,” said Jason Jarrett. “We hired additional staff, started doing our own custom fabrication. We kept growing and growing.”
Within 10 years, Jason Jarrett had earned majority control of the company and became president.
“We restructured everything, with the intention of me buying out my parents,” said Jason Jarrett, who adds there is no solid timeline and he declined to reveal the asking price. “I own 53% of the business right now.”
Meanwhile, the growth hasn’t stopped.
“By 2017 we knew we needed a new location, and we moved to the current Richland location,” said Jason Jarrett. “We knew we needed something of our own.”
It was a 4,000-square-foot building on Henderson Loop, but it was still not enough.
In 2019, Jason Jarrett knew they needed more room, so they expanded to 7,500 square feet.
One side of the building holds thousands of products, while the fabrication department has moved to the other building.
With his mother retired, Jason Jarrett’s wife, Codi, does the books now.
His father is still around but has scaled back his workload.
His brothers, Josh and Justin, have worked on and off in the company over the years. Justin Jarrett is currently back with the company.
The family even has the kids around.
Jason Jarrett is the head coach at Tri-Cities Prep, which won the 2B state championship back in May. He has a batting cage in part of his warehouse for his kids.
Altogether, including family, there are eight employees on the payroll.
“I want that number to grow over time,” Jason Jarrett said.
Jason Jarrett is clear that agriculture is the main draw in the region.
“Harvest started around Sept. 1,” he said. “Grapes are ready to be picked. People call us and say, ‘I’ve got to get this today.’ It’s an emergency. We offer that service to get them their product.”
He expects more growth over the next five years. CIS is selling more products to companies from all over the country, thanks to its website.
Typically, the busiest time of the year is September, when it’s harvest time.
“Everything gets picked, and then the processing starts,” he said. “At the end of the year, companies then have to spend money on things that need to be fixed.”
The biggest part of CIS’s business depends on the time of year.
“It’s a shifting tide. Right now, the wine industry is shaking up,” Jason Jarrett said. “In the food sector, a new jerky plant is going in around here. So is a new Darigold plant. Reser’s just built a plant. So food plants are starting to go up.”
Jason Jarrett also said people are started to create spirits around the region, and dairy farm production is growing too. The company has also been seeing an increase in business with local breweries.
“So it all depends on the day and time of year,” he said. “For example, today it was mostly wine situations I’ve been dealing with. Two months from now, it’ll be mostly food.”
Jason Jarrett is excited about the wave CIS is riding, and at the same time helping his parents to step away and start enjoying retirement.
“We’re blessed. We work hard. What you put into it is what you get out of it,” he said. “I love the challenges. Honestly, literally, it’s the challenges.”
Central Industrial Sales Inc.: 2235 Henderson Loop in Richland; centralindustrialsales.com; 509-375-4032.
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