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Friday, Feb 23, 2024

Valley’s ‘Towel and Tissue King’ on Roll

While many businesses operate at a fraction of their normal capacity, the “Towel and Tissue King of the San Fernando Valley” has been on a roll with the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Noori, Chief Executive of Royalty Distributions in San Fernando, said March was a particularly busy month as the outbreak sent demand soaring for bath tissue, paper towels and other supplies made and sold by his company. “Business was up I’d say 30 or 35 percent,” Noori told the Business Journal. The entrepreneur built his company in the early 2010s as an importer and wholesaler of toilet paper to port-a-potty operators and corporate clients, leading to his now-passé “T.P. King” nickname. In recent years, he has expanded Royalty’s product line and function in the supply chain. In 2018, Noori opened a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Pacoima, where Royalty began making its own bath tissue, as well as centerfold paper towels with perforations and hard roll towels under the Royalty Products brand. The company sells its goods to distributors in the middle of the supply chain who resell them to janitorial contractors for government facilities, schools, hotels and office buildings. “We don’t go to the retail level,” Noori said. “We’re away-from-home only.” The Pacoima facility also offers storage space when the company finds itself holding an excess of inventory. In its distribution line, Royalty has widened its wholesale repertoire of paper products to include napkins, toilet seat covers, facial tissue and copy and receipt paper, and added food service products such as plastic wrap, gloves, cups, cutlery and liquid cleaners including dish soap and general purpose degreaser. According to Noori, these additions have led to “big time” revenue gains. Also, as a U.S. manufacturer, he said last year’s tariffs on Chinese imports helped his business pick up clients quickly as a cheaper alternative to importers. “We’ve more than doubled our revenue in the last three years. We’re growing by at least 50 percent a year,” he said. To accommodate that growth, Noori said he has hired about 15 manufacturing employees and about half a dozen on the distribution side, bringing his workforce to a total of 43. While Royalty hasn’t experienced any business interruptions, its operations look a little different in a market routed by coronavirus. “Some (distributors) are seeing a decline – a lot of them sell to the schools,” Noori said, referring to the mass closure of grade schools and universities across the nation. “A lot of our distributors are walking into businesses locally (to make sales),” he added. Another impact of the coronavirus is a postponement of Noori’s plan to migrate the entirety of Royalty’s operations to Van Nuys, including the purchase of another 40,000 square feet of warehouse space. “We’re investing in more machinery and adding more capacity on the manufacturing side,” Noori said.

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