“Hard work and honesty.” That what he said it takes, and that’s what Jabie Hardin has exemplified throughout his career with Hardin’s-SYSCO, which he founded in 1936 as Hardin Distributing Company. Hardin’s-SYSCO, which in 1972 joined the wholesale food distribution conglomerate known as SYSCO Corp., was originally a two-person operation. Through Jabie Hardin’s leadership, Hardin’s-SYSCO is today a major part of the largest marketer and distributor of food service products in the United States, serving more than 250,000 customers.
Jabie Hardin’s entrepreneurial philosophy also centered on “giving back,” which has long been an important part of his life. He and his wife, Helen, have demonstrated their philanthropic values in many areas of the community. At the University of Memphis, they endowed a chair for the study of Economics and Managerial Journalism, as well as the Jabie Sanford Hardin III Chair of Excellence in Combinatorics, in honor of their son. Jabie Hardin also established the Jabie S. Hardin scholarship fund of Columbia County, GA, where he grew up. The Hardin’s philanthropy extends also to the Memphis Zoo. In 1993, he and his wife gave the largest individual gift in the zoo’s history at that time, which made possible the Helen and Jabie Hardin Primate Canyon.
Wholesale distributor of food and food-related products and medical supplies to restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, retirement homes and other food service operations
“‘I am a strong believer in the philosophy that if you take something from the land/community, you should also give/put something back. Hard work and honesty. Be very selective in hiring people.”
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