Since 1945, 'Fore' Supply Co.® has distributed amenities and a complete line of locker room supplies to Country Clubs, Hotels, Resorts, Spas, Fitness Centers, Professional/College Sports Teams, etc. As the country’s leading amenity/locker room supply distributor, 'Fore' Supply Co.® proudly serves over 5,000 customers.
Our catalog offers thousands of products; these include Corian® Amenity Holders and Enclosures, and our signature line, "CLUB CLASSIC," which is being used today by many of the nation's most discriminating clubs as well as many private residences and businesses across the United States. The "CLUB CLASSIC" line is salon quailty and formulated with many natural elements including herbal extracts, essential oils, vitamins and minerals.). We also feature a complete line of brand name products, first-aid supplies, shoe care needs, maintenance/janitorial items, disposable paper goods, etc. Our large 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse located in Addison, Illinois ensures that we can carry the largest inventory of locker room supplies with many hard-to-find items ready for immediate and accurate shipping.
When ordering from 'Fore' Supply Co.®, you save money, your employees' time and fuel, and won't have to pay cash. Our competitive prices, quality merchandise and shipment of orders in 24 hours or less (except for custom print items, etc.) has earned us the reputation as the best in the industry. By consolidating purchasing with 'Fore' Supply Co.®, you consistently receive prompt service and reduce your costs.
In 1945, George K. and Helen organized 'Fore' Supply Co.® and operated out of the two-car garage behind their six flat on Chicago’s Northwest side. George, who had immigrated from Hamburg, Germany in 1927, spent most of the thirties and early forties working in locker rooms in the Chicagoland area. His strong work ethic, eagerness to please and natural friendliness made him very popular with the members at the clubs in which he worked. On his day off, George would invariably find himself driving around Chicago to pick up his locker room supplies from a number of different sources. Thus, he formed the idea of combining all locker room supply needs into a line of goods vended by one company, thereby providing a sort of “One-Stop Shopping” locker room supply company.
George Sr. was also instrumental in introducing the concept of properly displaying a wide variety of amenities in the clubs’ locker rooms. So, with the encouragement and help of his wife Helen (who also had a background of working in the clubs and restaurants in the Chicagoland area), his two preteen sons (George P. and James R.) and a 1937 Pontiac Sedan, he set out to call on the local country clubs, selling hair tonics, shoe laces, shoe polishes, combs and a few other items from the back of his car.
Sales were lean the first year (only about $5,000.00), and for many years thereafter. Many times George and Helen were so discouraged they thought of giving up, but then would say, “Well, we did a little better than last year, so why don’t we give it a try for just one more year.”
A great number of business related jobs were performed by the family in their home, in those early years. Following World War II, many of the items needed by the club industry, such as golf pencils, paper shoe bags and shower slippers were either unavailable or in short supply.
'Fore' Supply Co.® filled those needs in some rather innovative ways. Working together as a family, many hours were spent sawing readily available 7” pencils in half, manually sharpening the ends and stacking them in boxes thus creating golf pencils. With the help of a friend and a printing press, they printed and bundled paper shoe bags. Shower slippers were even more challenging. After George Sr. had stamped out the individual pieces, Helen would then sew the tops to the bottoms. The boys would cut the continuous thread and pack them 2,000 to a case. Thus, shower slippers now became available. So little by little, year by year, the business began to grow.
James went off to a military academy and after graduation, served in the U.S. Army. George P. graduated from the Business College at the University of Arizona and eventually both boys came to work full-time in the family business.
In 1968, 'Fore' Supply Co.® built its first “real” (not the family basement or garage) warehouse and office in Addison, Illinois and in 1979 moved into its present 20,000 square foot facility. During the seventies, George and Helen were slowly moving the control and management of the business over to their boys. Sadly, George Sr. passed away in 1982. Helen, George Jr., Carolyn (George Jr.’s Wife), and James continued the operation of the business, always abiding by George Sr.’s principles of dealing honestly and fairly with customers and employees alike. Tragedy struck again in February 1994, when James succumbed to cancer. Our beloved founder, Helen Thein, continued to come to work each day until she passed away in 2002 at the age of 89.
As we enter our 70th year in business, we are proud that we now serve thousands of clubs and health facilities across the country. 'Fore' Supply Co.® salutes the Club Industry and wishes to express its sincere appreciation of its continuing support. George P. and Carolyn Thein's son, Bradley Thein, the third generation, has now assumed the helm of 'Fore' Supply Co.® Brad and the entire staff of dedicated, well trained and customer service oriented employees are there to serve you.
We continue to build the company through the implementation of advanced computer systems, marketing strategies and diversifying the customer base, while continuing to observe our long time principles of striving to combine friendly, knowledgeable, customer service with a very broad, high quality product line that is offered at the most competitive prices possible. That's our pledge to you, our TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE!