For over 65 years Franks Vending Service, Inc. has served the Middle Tennesse and North Alabama area. What began as a one man sales company that provided goods to country stores throughout the area evolved into a cigarette vending business and ultimately grew to become a full line vending operation. Along the way, a commissary for food service and catering was also incorporated.
Today, our association with Canteen, the nations largest vending company, has enabled us to improve upon the range of products and services that we provide to our customers. As Franks Vending Service, Inc. continues to grow, we strive to maintain the standards of integrity, quality, service, and dependability that the company has long been known for.
It all began in 1946 when E.W. Franks bought a two-ton truck and had a body built to deliver (or peddle as it was then known) merchandise to country stores in Giles and surrounding counties in southern Middle Tennessee. The name he selected was Franks Sales Company. The merchandise was a wide variety of products which included candy, notions, dry goods, cigarettes, novelties and just about anything else a country store might need. E.W., as he was referred to by all who knew him, worked many long hours to establish himself as an honest and reputable person who would always do the right thing for his customers.
E.W.'s son Bob Franks made many trips with his Dad not only to Nashville for supplies but anytime he was out of school you could find him along side his Dad. E.W. was a master at teaching you to be honest and to do the right thing. Bob learned many lessons as a youngster in integrity and honesty which remain in him today. E.W. always wanted a job done right the first time. Bob learned early if the job was not done right the first time, you got to do it again and again until it was right. Learning to get it right the first time became a great motivator.
In 1952, E.W. decided to buy 10 cigarette vending machines and place them in some local businesses at their request. The vending industry was in its infancy and E.W. wanted to find a place in a relatively new industry. He owned a 1949 Dodge car and most Saturdays you would find he and Bob loading that old Dodge with 2 cigarette machines along with the cigarettes needed to service their accounts. They would usually locate the two machines in new accounts. He began to expand in this new endeavor by buying additional machines and acquiring additional locations from other people in the industry. As the business grew and took more and more of E.W.'s time, he decided to sell Franks Sales Company and devote his attention full time to Franks Cigarette Service. It was a tough business because the margins were low and it was very capital intensive. E.W. continued to work hard and grow this new adventure he embarked upon. He hired his first part time employee in the mid fifties and expanded into a few snack vending machines.
In the mid to late fifties, southern Middle Tennessee would begin to see a few new industrial accounts locate to the area. These accounts would be interested more in more than the cigarettes and snacks that Franks Cigarette Service provided. It was during this time that E.W. would begin to adapt to full line vending. It would still be with the same vigor he would enter into this arena.
In April of 1959, Bob became a full time employee if Franks Cigarette Service. Bob had continued to work with E.W. through the years when he was out of school but now E.W. needed help to continue to expand the business. It was not long until the part time person had retired and a full time associate and another part time associate were hired. It was during the 1960's Franks Cigarette Service would grow and other associates would become part of the team.
In 1973, after many years of discussion between E.W. and Bob, it was decided it change the company name from Franks Cigarette Service to Franks Vending Service, Inc. The new name seemed to be more representative of the new direction the company was headed. Franks Vending Service, Inc. would continue to grow through expansion and acquisitions. The associate base continued to grow and produce line continued to get larger and larger in order to serve our customers.
During the mid to late 70's, it became apparent to Bob that food was going to become a vital part of the vending industry. After many hours of research and soul searching, it was decided in 1981 to open a commissary where we would make the fresh food selection for our vending machines. We also approached our customers about offering catering for their special event needs. This was well received by our customers and we continue today to provide the best quality product and service to our clients. We also provide cafeteria service in those accounts with enough people to offer this service. Our commitment is always to satisfy our clients with the best solution possible to meet their requirements.
In the early 1980's, Franks Vending Service continued to work hard to meet the needs of its clients. Growth continued, but in November of 1982, Bob, his family and Franks Vending Service was faced with the loss of its founder, E.W. Franks.
E.W. had always made known to Bob that he wanted Franks Vending Service, Inc. to continue to provide the same service, quality products, honesty and integrity if something happened to him. Bob would assume the leadership of Franks Vending Service, Inc. and continue in the tradition of E.W. Other family members along with other associates have assumed leadership positions with the commitment to continue the tradition of Franks Vending Service, Inc.
Franks Vending Service, Inc. would continue to grow through expansion and acquisitions during the 1980's, 1990's and yes, even after feared January 1, 2000. The vending business would continue to change with new technology through these decades. We continue to invest in these latest trends to provide the best for our customers.
In October, 2003, Franks Vending Service, Inc. became a franchisee of Canteen, an international company that is well respected in the vending industry. Franks wanted to remain an independent company but align itself with someone who brought much to the table of added services to our company. This change results in greater purchasing power, more effective marketing strategies and exclusive branding that make our company even stronger. We are proud to be associated with Canteen and it is one of the oldest vending companies in existence today.
It has been a long and eventful journey at Franks Vending Service, Inc. since E.W. bought those first 10 cigarette machines and we could go out in that 1949 Dodge to "peddle our goods". Times have changed and cigarettes have become almost nonexistent at Franks Vending Service, Inc. Cigarette machines have disappeared.
But some things never change! It does not matter if it is during those early years of the 1950's or in between or even in the future, the heritage of Franks Vending Service, Inc. will always prevail. Our customers can still expect the same honesty, integrity, hard work, best equipment, products and service that E.W. instilled in our Company.
The future holds unlimited potential for Franks Vending Service, Inc. Over 90 associates cover southern Middle Tennessee and northern Alabama regions every day "peddling our goods" to our customers. More than ever before, the mission of Franks Vending Service, Inc. is to deliver unprecedented customer service and the best selection of high quality food products to our customers.
Still Family owned
And Proud of it!
Bobby has worked at Franks Vending Service since inception.
David Franks, Bob Franks' son has worked for the family's businesses his entire life.
And on to tomorrow
The future is bright and wide open.