The History of Bill & Ralph's, Inc.
Bill Carter was born in the winter of 1934 in Warren, Arkansas, the third of four children born to his parents, Orlan and Edna Carter. During his high school years he got a job on a poultry delivery truck helping Mack Johnson who worked for Warren Produce Company. He learned quickly and soon after graduating from High School was driving the truck and had a helper himself. All the while he had a vision in the back of his mind.
On March 3, 1961 he married Judy Barnes who lived near his birthplace. He now had someone who shared his vision. His continued hard work, peddling chicken brought him through the city of Springhill, La., a city that was growing quickly. His friend, and former Boss, Mack Johnson had established his own chicken route in the city of Springhill.
In April of 1963, when his first child, Karen was only a few months old, he bought the chicken route, 3 trucks, and an old trailer used as a cooler for just a few thousand dollars from his friend, Mack Johnson and moved his family to the city of Springhill, La. He peddled chicken and eggs from the back of the old pickup trucks, and Miss Judy, as she is fondly known, kept the books on their kitchen table. Two years later, he sold half the business to Ralph Alford. His vision had now become a reality and Bill & Ralph’s was born.
Just one year later, in 1966, Bill and Ralph purchased a piece of property at the end of Thurman Road and built two small offices and a permanent cooler. With business expanding they began to sell frozen food products as well as chicken and eggs.
The Wilson production plant in nearby Shreveport discontinued route deliveries in 1970 and they turned to Bill & Ralph’s to distribute their products. Decker and Hormel products soon followed along with other items requested by the growing list of customers.
Ralph sold his share of the business back to Bill in 1987 but the name of Bill & Ralph’s and its reputation were so well known the name was not changed. Ralph remained a good friend until he passed away in 1998 and is sadly missed by all who knew him.
What began as a vision in the mind of Bill Carter has become a company with a fleet of thirty trucks, over one-hundred employees and annual revenues in excess of $50 Million. Bill & Ralph’s was recognized as one of The Top 100 Businesses in the Ark-La-Tex by the Shreveport Times Newspaper in the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. Poultry is still sold but fresh beef, pork and another 1,000 or so items are available as well. In addition, in the first quarter of 2002, Bill & Ralph’s began production of their own line of food products marketed under the “B & R” and “Casey’s” label. The line has steadily grown and now includes a variety of Bacon, Hams, Bologna, Salami, Cervalat, Souse, Franks, Sausage and Hot Links, and the list is expected to continue growing.
Bill & Ralph’s would like to thank first their loyal customers and then their employees for helping make Bill & Ralph’s the company it is today.