The Two Js (Joel C. and Joel E. Skidmore)
Joel C. Skidmore (Senior) was born and raised on a farm in Oklahoma. In 1954 at 17, he lied about his age and joined the U.S. Navy. He spent the next four years traveling the world before settling in California where he met his wife Wilma and began working for General Motors in Oakland. Senior and Wilma had two children, the youngest a son, Joel E. Skidmore (Joe Joe).
In 1962 a neighbor offered Senior a job as a route driver at Canteen’s Berkeley location. He accepted and in 1972 became the District Manager for Canteen San Francisco.
1978 (The Beginning)
In 1978 2 life changing events occurred:
At 17, Joe Joe was diagnosed with cancer and lost his leg to save his life.
Senior was offered the opportunity to start a Canteen franchise on the East Bay.
Senior wanted to take the opportunity but only if Joe Joe would agree to be his partner. At the family’s kitchen table Joe Joe agreed at 50% ownership, becoming a business owner, one week after losing his leg and while still a Junior in high school.
Home Sweet Home…
Although now J&J Vending feels like home in 1978 it literally was.
The warehouse was our family’s garage and our main office was the guest room. Wilma took calls while Senior and Joe Joe ran routes. Joe Joe would start his day at 4 a.m., run a partial route before going to class and then come home and count the money from his route in the afternoons.
It’s now over 35 years since J&J first opened our doors. We’ve grown from our family’s garage to storage units to warehouses and in 2012 moved into our largest building yet, a 12,000 sq ft office and warehouse building in Union City Ca.
Although we’ve grown we haven’t forgotten who we are: we’re still family owned and operated and pride ourselves on offering Koala-T (quality) services, albeit now we offer quite a few more services in addition to vending, including: office coffee, water filtration, micro markets and pantry service.
In 2009, after graduating college, Jennifer Skidmore began working for the family business, making J&J a 3rd generation operation.