'Hidden' grocery billionaire keeps a low profile
C&S Wholesale Grocers chairman Rick Cohen is worth $11.2 billion, making him the 95th-richest person in the world. But he's not bragging.
There's a billionaire doing business in Keene, N.H., but you've never heard of him.
Rick Cohen is the 95th-richest person in the world, Bloomberg's Matthew Miller reports. He's the chairman of C&S Wholesale Grocers, and his customers include big chains like Stop & Shop, Safeway (SWY), Target (TGT), and Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.
Those are the names that matter most to Cohen, who is worth $11.2 billion.
"He takes products, he moves them, he does it in unmarked trucks," Miller says. "Basically his thing is that he doesn't want the company's name out there.
"He wants to make sure that he delivers for his customers. He doesn't want to be a big showboat for his own company."
C&S Wholesale Grocers delivers to more than 3,900 independent, chain and grocery stores in 12 states, according to the company's website. It produced almost $22 billion in sales last year, with margins of about 2%.
C&S was founded in 1918 in Worcester, Mass., by Israel Cohen and Abraham Siegel, according to the company's website. It worked with commissaries on military bases during World War II. Rick Cohen (pictured) joined the company in 1974.
Cohen's employees have an incentive to work better. Those who fill orders faster get paid more, while wages are reduced for workers who make mistakes.
"He pays his workers more for not making mistakes," Miller said in the report. "As a result, they're much more efficient and that brings the profitability just a little bit higher."
C&S delivers more than 95,000 different products, according to its website.
Miller said Cohen has donated to New Hampshire colleges for Holocaust studies. His wife is the head of a traveling musical that's based on the Holocaust, according to the report. One of their daughters works for the company, while the other teaches in Massachusetts.
Maintaining a low profile does not help Cohen grow his business, according to Miller, but it can help keep the focus on the company's customers and away from its billionaire chairman.
"It's just so rare to see somebody so wealthy," he said in the report. "We're talking about a guy who's worth more than $11 billion. To actually be hidden in New Hampshire is quite rare."
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Get paid more for doing a good or high perforance result. What a concept. I guess that would not apply to federal and state employees. Performance has nothing to do with raises in government jobs, it's how long you have survived and hidden from scrutiny and meeting goals and objectives.
Dear God! He pays his workers! Doesn't he know that payroll is the company's biggest expense? That labor is a resource to be exploited? And he pays them MORE not to make mistakes! Doesn't he know you only pay more for neat ledger entries?
He's a traitor to capitalism!
Yeah and seems that his kids are quite well grounded also, for being possible Billionaires.
If you want to be or get better...You have to work and try harder...Or EARN it.
All or most, should be taught those values.
Sadly not the case in many situations anymore, therefore losers give up too quickly.
And hope to ride another's coattails...Someday that comes to a halt.
And then the blame is put on everyone else...
Except for expected situations, it's getting way too common for others.
Why does the "Legion of Losers" have to politicize this story? No mention of politics here, just a success story based on hard work, intelligent decisions and a fortunate family heritage.
But, the anti-Obama zealots, Tea Party Idiots, anti-government, anti-liberal & conservative whiners try to twist a very good story into something that fits their political ideology and hatred. What a pack of pathetic comments!
Thanks for a positive success story about someone who knows what he is doing and how to do it.
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