Founded in 1947, Sunflower employs approximately 15 people, all of whom are expected to remain with the company. This includes Norman Eilert, who owned Sunflower and served as the dealer’s president. “We plan to keep all of Sunflower’s staff on and will continue to look for ways to grow all aspects of the business,” says Chris Abraham, director of the equipment and supply division for Cash-Wa distributing.
Sunflower has a 26,000-square-foot facility in Salina and a 6,000-square-foot cash-and-carry operation in Wichita. The dealer handles contract and design work, smallwares sales and equipment sales to customers in the middle of Kansas.
“We see there’s a need, particularly in the Midwest, for dealers with a brick-and-mortar presence,” Abraham says. “There’s a need for help. As more people find their way to internet shopping, a void is appearing. People need a place to come in and kick the tires. In these rural areas, having that opportunity matters to them.”
This is not the first acquisition of a foodservice equipment and supplies dealer for Cash-Wa, which is a Nebraska-based broadline distributor. Its most recent purchase in this space came back in 2017 when Cash-Wa acquired Buller Fixture. “We want to continue to grow and expand our equipment portfolio and what we are able to offer our customers,” Abraham says. “We are trying to expand all of our support systems so we can be a one-stop-shop for our customers.”