While Del Papa Distributing is known for distributing the world’s most renowned beer brands, some might not know that building friendships is part of the company’s mission. “Quality people building brands and friendships, one case at a time.” It was the building of friendships (one in particular) that gave the company the opportunity of a lifetime and put them on the map. Without friendships and relationships, the beer business and Del Papa Distributing wouldn’t be where it is today!
Gaido’s on the Seawall in Galveston is famous for its fresh Gulf seafood and the signature Gaido’s crab that sits atop the restaurant. What you may not know is that Gaido’s, like Del Papa Distributing, has been around for over 100 years. Like Del Papa Distributing’s Omero Del Papa Sr., San Giacinto Gaido opened his island-based business in the early 1900’s seeking to serve the island community. And while some parts of history are often lost with those who have gone before, the experiences passed down from two Italian immigrants turned Galveston Island entrepreneurs, tells the story of a family friendship that dates back to Prohibition.
In the summer of 1930, after the death of distributor Moritz Brock, Anheuser-Busch needed a new man for its Galveston territory. “The Texas representative for Anheuser-Busch came to Galveston and asked [their established retail partner] Giacinto Gaido, who at the time was the President of the Greater Galveston Beach Association, who he thought would be willing to sell brewer’s yeast in anticipation of Prohibition ending,” explains Paulie Gaido, grandson of Giacinto. That individual would go on to have a “leg up” in obtaining the rights to distribute Anheuser-Busch products in Galveston. Giacinto referenced his friend, Omero Del Papa, respecting his strong business ethics, but also his honesty, hard work, and commitment to his community.
On August 17, 1930, A-B appointed Omero and Del Papa Distributing as its Galveston distributor. It was a business deal made under the most difficult circumstances: a beer maker and a beer distributor committing to one another during Prohibition and the Depression. But both Busch and Del Papa were visionaries and they were united in their belief that beer would return to the American marketplace. Return it did!
Larry Del Papa, President of Del Papa Distributing explains, “When they reintroduced alcohol in 1933, the beer industry came up with a model called the Three Tier System. [The distributor comes] between the brewer and the retailer eliminating the influence the brewer can have on a retailer [to limit their business].” Del Papa Distributing is still committed to protecting and growing the business of their retail partners, like Gaido’s, today.
At the end of Prohibition, The Budweiser Clydesdales heralded a weary nations return to optimism. Today, the horses are now the living embodiment of America’s great industrial spirit. In an age of big business, corporate mergers and conglomerations, independent family owned business are far from the norm. So it seemed fitting to honor the industrial spirit of a near 100-year-old business partnership with a ceremonial delivery of a case of Budweiser from Del Papa Distributing, to their friends at Gaido’s who helped make it possible. Gaido’s, This Bud’s For You!
It was the honesty and integrity of Omero Del Papa, Sr. that earned the trust and respect from the Gaido family. And it was the Gaido family’s trust and recommendation in Omero and Del Papa Distributing that presented a business opportunity that changed the trajectory of the family’s business. Old fashioned values and business ethics forged a relationship that has lasted for generations. That relationship is proof that the values of honesty, integrity, and hard-work are still present in our business today.