This is Our Story
In 1936, during the midst of the Great Depression, Maurice Panitz left his job as manager of a large union suit (Long Johns) manufacturing plant to start a small shirt factory. He named his company Sanford Shirt after his young son Sanford (Sandy). His philosophy was simple. He believed by working hard, he could craft out a future for himself, his employees and eventually his children. He believed by applying his knowledge of the industry with his work ethic, by listening to his customers and taking care of his employees, he could build a company that could last long into the future. The early days were hard but, slowly, Maurice built a customer base in both the retail market as well as the public sector. Some of his earliest accounts were Filenes Basement, Baltimore City and the U. S. Naval Academy.
In 1965, Maurice’s son, Sandy, took over as President with the realization the company needed to broaden its horizon. Sandy realized how limiting it was to be just a shirt manufacturer. He was feeling the price pressures caused by the lower labor costs of rural factories opening up in the south and made the decision to begin partnering with other manufacturers so as to be able to supply complete uniform packages. It was at this time Sandy adopted the name Hanover Uniform (coming from their Hanover Street address) and began trying to be a sole source uniform supplier to all of his customers. He used his knowledge of the industry to establish relationships with factories from across the globe and began supplying his customers with all of their uniform needs. This business model became so successful that by 1973, Sandy stopped manufacturing retail shirts and focused solely on supplying uniform programs.
Throughout the years, Hanover’s business grew, but Sandy also was aging and with no children of his own. He realized for the business to perpetuate that another generation of younger managers was needed to help him run the business; as well as providing him a successor when he would be ready to retire. In 1990, he hired two young businessmen, John Mintz and Jim Villella. Both had spent their careers working together in management for a large uniform company and were looking for a smaller company with a family environment that they could put their signature on and one day call their own. The three worked together and the company made dramatic strides throughout the 1990s as Hanover continued to grow and improve.
In October of 2003, as Hanover was finishing its most successful year, Sandy’s life was cut short from a fatal car accident. Thanks to Sandy’s forethought, John and Jim stepped up and bought the business and Hanover didn’t miss a beat. They used their experience to assure there was no interruptions in service and used their vigor and foresight to continue to invest in Hanover’s future.
Today, Hanover Uniform stands as one of the largest privately held uniform suppliers in the nation representing nearly 400 factories and supplying over 2,000 customers worldwide. Hanover today has coupled their US manufacturing facilities with plants located in Mexico, The Dominican Republic, India, Bangladesh and China, allowing them to manufacture nearly any garment for any purpose as efficiently as possible.
In 2011, Hanover purchased a 75,000 SF warehouse and coupled it with state-of-the-art software allowing them to receive, customize and ship orders on a same-day basis. It also gave them the space to store as much inventory as was necessary to satisfy their customers. Furthermore, they have invested tremendous resources into their customer ordering software, allowing accounts to manage every minutia of uniforms, keeping track of individuals sizes, budgets, even offering a touch screen ordering version for employees to use to place their orders.
They have combined all of this with the most dedicated employees of any company in the country.