Michael Rupp began in the hearth industry in 1975 as a chimney sweep and opened a retail store, Countryside Stove & Chimney, Inc. in 1979. After several years of successful retailing, he and his wife, Lois, had the opportunity to become the New York Distributor for Travis Industries, a stove manufacturer based out of Washington. As a result, Empire Distributing was formed in 1988. They welcomed the challenge and began with a dealer network of five stores. Today they have a solid dealer network of over a hundred dealers that they supply weekly with stoves, fireplaces, venting and accessories.
In January 2001 they sold their retail business and have spent the years since then focusing on distribution. Both of their sons, Jason and Jeremy, are now part owners of the business also bringing their 20+ years of experience in the hearth industry. Empire Distributing has just recently moved into their new 80,000 square foot warehouse located in Arcade, NY.