Faces of Family Business: General Paper Company

Hudson Gerald, Ann Gerald, and Todd Gerald

General Paper Company was founded in 1946 as a paper and cleaning supplies distributor. In 1973, Paul Anderson acquired it and when he passed away in 1977, his wife Francis managed the company with their daughter Allison and son John. In 1999, John Anderson hired Todd Gerald as the operations manager, and Todd and his wife Ann purchased the company a year later. Today, General Paper is a woman-owned business celebrating its 20-year anniversary. The company has evolved to offer much more than paper. It provides a full spectrum of janitorial cleaning chemicals, equipment and supplies to ensure healthy environments for all types of facilities.

WHAT VALUES OR PRINCIPLES GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS?

The core values of General Paper have been passed down over a 74-year history, and customers have come to know the company as one Where Service is Always in Stock. “We value partnering with customers to solve their janitorial supply and maintenance issues through innovative solutions and exceptional knowledge, products and resources,” says owner Ann Gerald.

DID YOU FACE ANY CHALLENGES DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS?

The shortage of alcohol made it extremely difficult for our suppliers to keep up with the demand for disinfecting hand wipes and sanitizer, but we remained committed to helping our customers meet their challenges of reopening by providing innovative alternatives. We also educated our customers on staying safe and preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH FAMILY?

We try to leave work at the office, which is not always easy. We are human and we always strive to do the best we can. That is the way we were raised and we try to instill that example in our team. Hard work and dedication pays off. We have a philosophy that we share with our team … If it’s not right at home it will not be right at work … meaning family comes first. We also enjoy giving back to the community that has been so good to us. Todd does volunteer work with the Salvation Army, and Ann enjoys her work with Inner Wheel of Baton Rouge.

WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR COMPANY?

We are excited about the future. Our youngest son, Hudson, joined our team in April. His experience in the construction field will be a good fit for working with building service contractors and growing that segment of our business. We are in the process of upgrading our online presence and overall marketing to educate and inform our customer base on healthy hygiene to create cleaner work and home environments.

11091 AIRLINE HWY. • BATON ROUGE, LA 70816 • 225.291.7827 • GENERALPAPERCOMPANY.COM

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