About Us

Our History

Serving our markets since 1918.

Cole Papers Inc. was founded in 1918 by Robert Cole, the father of the late Prentiss H. Cole. Until 1987 it was called Fargo Paper Company. As a locally owned independent company, we believe we are more responsive to local customers. Our company now employs over 160 people in two paper divisions (Industrial papers and Printing papers) and one Floor Covering division.

Since 1918 we have moved our main operation five times to larger, more modern facilities. Our present building contains 106,000 square feet and 2,900,000 cu. ft. of storage; we completed our latest expansion of 36,000 sq. ft. in August 1990. Our headquarters is located in the Fargo Industrial Park on Interstate 29 at the 12th Avenue North interchange, and from this location we service our 10 branch locations. Our 10 branch buildings contain 100,000+ sq. ft. of combined storage. Our 11 locations serve our customers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Eastern Montana, Minnesota, Northwest Iowa, Northeast Nebraska and Northwest and West Central Wisconsin.

We offer a full line of services including:

  • 11 stocking locations
  • Daily deliveries in branch area cities
  • Prompt credit arrangements
  • Courteous customer service representatives
  • 24 hour on-line ordering capabilities
  • Full data processing support for improved invoicing, inventory management, purchasing and accounting
  • We are members of the National Paper Trade Association, National Association of Wholesalers, AIPPM, and the International Sanitary Supplies Association
Our Mission

To be the leader in serving the paper, janitorial supplies and floor covering needs of the business and institutional customers in our trade area.

To provide with integrity and good service quality products on a competitively priced basis.

To maintain a well informed professional staff, fairly compensated, with opportunities for advancement.

To generate reasonable profits from all assets employed enabling future company growth, a reasonable return to stockholders, good benefits to our employees, and some donations to charitable causes.

To encourage the spiritual, cultural and economic growth of our trading area and the rest of the world through leadership and financial support.

Our Philosophy

We will constantly dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of total quality and constant improvement in every area of our business.

We will proactively make good things happen.With “wise counsel” and careful planning, we have the power, the responsibility and the opportunity to significantly influence our own future. With prayer and God’s help, perhaps success will follow.

Integrity is the glue that holds everything together. We will always strive to deal honestly with all people and with ourselves.

We believe strongly in the value of hard work. Hard, consistent effort and pride in our work can achieve great results. We must also strive for simplicity and efficiency.

We believe in being very aggressive, yet conservative. Careful analysis and careful preparation will make sure that greed and hopes will not override reality and sound judgment.

A lean, hands-on organization is critical to success. Fat clogs the arteries and reduces efficiency in people and organizations, and will be avoided.

We believe that no company has a divine right to survive and to prosper. It’s a right that must be earned year in and year out.

We care about our families, customers, suppliers, fellow workers, citizens and ourselves.

President's Philosophy

My personal goal is to know Jesus Christ more and more and to have Him known to others through me (and others). When appropriate, this goal will sometimes be evident in my business environment and in my business, civic and personal relationships. Others in our company (and elsewhere) are free to choose their own faith or lack of belief; I will accept them based on the fact that they are created in God’s image regardless of their personal beliefs.

I and those who work here must have integrity and strive for fairness in our relationships with employees, suppliers, competitors, customers, stockholders and others.

I and our corporate managers and supervisors must strive for good “stewardship” performance with God’s resources which he’s temporarily placed in our care. In my view, obtaining reasonable profits, growth and ROA are Biblically mandated. Profits should be returned to owners, used to finance growth, used to maintain or improve benefits to employees, used to pay taxes and some profits should be donated to worthwhile endeavors in our trading area.

We should compensate our employees fairly and promptly and rewarding with higher pay those who produce more.

We all fall short of our goals from time to time. We should be compassionate and forgiving while still demanding top performance of ourselves and others.




Eide Bailly of Fargo, ND


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