So far that mission has been an exciting, yet calculated rise to the top. When the business began to outgrow its small warehouse location in the mid-2000s, Grant and Sommer were able to sell the location and use the proceeds to move into a bigger space, as well as build a safety net for the company.

Once Coastal Chemical became more established on the coast, Grant began reaching out to customers outside of Wilmington, including as far west as Greensboro, and down into Charleston, South Carolina. Those efforts fueled rapid business expansion, even as the rest of the country was embroiled in the economic downturn.

By 2010, Coastal Chemical began to lease its second location to another company, and purchased an 11,500-square-foot warehouse. Since then the company has added a 5,000-square-foot building expansion bringing their current facility to 19,500 square feet.

Today, the company has 12 employees, six fleet delivery trucks, and serves customers in the healthcare, restaurant, hotel and education sectors.
It’s an impressive feat, considering the company has been in existence for little more than a decade.

“Coastal Chemical has grown significantly every year,” Sommer says. “It’s almost overwhelming, but we’re very grateful. It’s been awesome to watch the growth pattern.”

While Grant has made it a point to grow Coastal Chemical organically he has also taken advantage of additional revenue-growing opportunities. The company recently completed its third acquisition — a local company that sells coffee, vending and office supplies. 

“We want to be able to capture the break room business,” Grant explains.
“Everything in a facility — as it makes sense for us — we want to be able to sell. We want to have everything under one roof.”

The company has also invested in a host of technology — from its smartphones and tablets for staff, to its user-friendly website, comprehensive online product catalog, and customer management software program. 

“The (software) technology has helped us tremendously,” Grant says. “It has markers that will pop up and say, ‘This is due.’ It picks up your order patterns. If a person isn’t ordering, then a salesperson can go and find out why, instead of running it down six months later.”

It doesn’t hurt that Sommer’s degree is in Information Technology, either, Grant jokes.

“She’s been unbelievable on the technology aspect,” he says.

Despite the company’s dedication to growth, Grant says he prefers to keep Coastal Chemical’s footprint a local one. He has no desire to extend the company beyond a “two to three” hour radius,” at least for now.

“We want to make sure we can handle it, instead of just going across the state and extending ourselves,” he says. “We still want to talk to customers. You lose that relationship when you build a bit.”

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