Company hits two major milestones in 2024

The Hearn Paper Company marks 100 years in business, 30 years owned by the Reed family

AUSTINTOWN — The Hearn Paper Company’s humble beginnings are traceable back to 1902, when three brothers — F.E., Thomas and Carey Hearn — opened Hearn Bros. & Co. on North Avenue in downtown Youngstown.

It was a store for groceries, provisions and notions, or small sewing supplies.

Over the next 22 years, the company evolved and took on other partners and in 1924, what had become the Hearn-Miller company reorganized into four divisions, one of them being The Hearn Paper Company.

The company continued to mark milestones throughout the decades, but perhaps none so significant as the one it’s celebrating in 2024 — its 100th anniversary.

This year also carries some hefty significance for the Reed family, because it marks 30 years of their ownership of the businesses.

The Hearn Paper Company is headquartered on Meridian Road in Austintown in a 50,000-square-foot building, most of which is used for warehouse space. There are 15 employees, and the company services customers within a 60- to 90-mile radius across Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

“All the magic happens right here,” Rob Reed, president, said.

For the last 30 years, the focus has been on facility maintenance and other supplies.

The product base includes janitorial supplies, chemicals and equipment “to keep buildings healthy and clean,” Rob Reed said, to paper products, including restroom toilet tissue and towels, and food service disposables.

“We also have a decent focus on industrial packaging, so bubble, foam, corrugated, those sorts of things,” he said.

In the winters, the company provides a substantial amount of snow and ice melt; about 30 truck loads depending on the weather, Reed said.

In addition, the company has service / installation and training / in-service services.

The Hearn Paper Company is business-to-business. Its customers include school districts, industry, food processors and building service contractors.


In 1945, the company grew with a new warehouse on Mahoning Avenue and expanded into other lines, including rugs, linoleum, wall coverings and shades, according to the company’s website.

Twelve years later, the company acquired 4.6 acres on North Meridian Road, where warehouse merchandise and offices were consolidated from West Rayen Avenue and West Commerce Street in 1966, the website states.

But the path was not without its setbacks. In 1963, according to its website, tragedy struck; a fire destroyed the warehouse on Mahoning Avenue.

Rob Reed said his father, Bryan Reed, came on in the early 1970s as company treasurer and around 1994, acquired the company from the Hearn family. Bryan Reed remains the owner.

Rob Reed started with The Hearn Paper Company around 2001.

“I was looking to make a transition myself, and he knew that, so he capitalized on the opportunity to say, ‘maybe this is a good time to come back home,'” said Reed, who was working elsewhere as an electrical engineer.

In the early 2000s, the company underwent a modernization transformation. It moved away from hand-writing orders and improved its computer system by installing business management software to handle things like order entry, delivery tickets, accounting and inventory.

In addition, the company had a website with an online catalog made.

“All the modern tools we needed to be competitive,” Rob Reed said. “Not only in our local marketplace, but to keep our competitors out. Not only are we competing against local suppliers that do something similar to what we do, but national suppliers, people who have tried to nibble at our business.”


The company is celebrating the 100th anniversary all year long.

To mark the occasion, “we’re taking the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to the community and let people know we are here to help,” Rob Reed said.

There also was a celebration for current and former employees.

“I tell my team all of the time, we are really appreciative of their contributions to our success. I think our people are what makes the difference and sets us aside from our competitors,” he said.

Also throughout 2024, there will be different marketing and customer appreciation campaigns. The anniversary also called for an update of the company’s logo as well as the creation of a 100th anniversary logo.

“You really don’t get what a challenge that was to change a logo you have been looking at for 30, 40 years,” Rob Reed said. “We had a couple of different graphic designers submit some things to us and we came up with something that we really like.”


Rob Reed knows the business is competitive, “so we’re looking for innovative solutions we can share with our customers,” he said.

That was the way of thinking for the company when the pandemic hit — to be a key point of reference and solutions provider for customers.

“We are experts in disinfection and infection control, so we had all of the things everyone was looking for — disinfectant, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, all of those things that really anchored us as part of the solution,” he said. “That is really what we are looking for, is how to be good solution providers for our customers. We’re not here just to sell you a bunch of stuff, we’re here with answers to troubles of concerns you are having as part of your business operations.”


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