San Joaquin Sulphur named Chamber’s top small business
San Joaquin Sulphur Company has been named the Small Business of the Year by the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce.
“We are humbled, honored, and delighted to be given this award,” said Jan Chandler, President of San Joaquin Sulphur Company. “We have had the good fortune of working with generations of great customers in the farming community and this award is as much for them and their dedication to honoring the family tradition and sustainability with us. We are excited about the future of agriculture in the Lodi region.”
San Joaquin Sulphur was founded in 1941 by three partners as a small independent ag retail store. The company’s primary business was importing rock sulphur from Texas by rail and grinding it into dust so it could be hand applied into the vines.
In 1957, the firm was sold to Ralph and Bruce Burlington, two brothers raised in a family with a history in Lodi agriculture.
As sulphur dust became increasingly more popular, the company saw additional opportunities for crop protection. They manufactured various blends of dusts with pesticides and fungicides so growers could treat multiple pests and diseases while they dusted. Then, seeing a need for unique blends of fertilizers for specialty markets such as greenhouses and hydroponics, they formulated custom fertilizer blends, which are today sold locally as well as nationally.
In 1990, Quantum Irrigation was formed under the SJSC umbrella in order to provide another innovative style of irrigation: drip irrigation. Ralph retired from SJSC in 1984.
The company is owned by Bruce and his three children, Tom and David Burlington and daughter Jan Chandler. Jan joined the company in 1993 and has served as president since 2000.
Between the multiple agribusiness entities, field personnel, manufacturing and office staff, SJSC at one time grew from just Bruce and Ralph to over 50 employees. Today, they are more compact and provide a full range of farm supplies, including safety gear and spray equipment as well as crop protection and nutrition products.
In 2018 SJSC celebrated 77 years in business and continues to find new niches to fill and be a valuable resource to local growers.
The Lodi District Chamber of Commerce will be recognizing the San Joaquin Sulphur Company during an awards dinner and celebration on Thursday, Jan. 24. The Chamber will also recognize Outstanding Citizens Richard & Sandy Preszler, Agribusiness Person of the Year Amy Blagg, and Business of the Year Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at LodiChamber.com or at the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce at 35 S. School St.
San Joaquin Sulphur Company owners Jan Chandler and Bruce Burlington.