respect, integrity, dependability

Jacob Stern & Sons Inc. is a privately-owned importer, exporter, processor and distributor of specialty agricultural products. Our company is built upon the values passed down to us by our founder:

Respect – We respect all individuals. We approach the workplace and our jobs with respect.

Integrity – We approach all business and social matters with the highest level of integrity and honesty.

Commitment – Our word is our bond. We live by our commitments no matter how difficult or costly doing so may be. We are committed to our customers, suppliers, and fellow employees.

Employees – Our employees are the Company’s most valued assets.

Those values have been rewarded with long-standing relationships and a reputation synonymous with quality. That’s success we’re extremely proud of.

Today, Jacob Stern & Sons has grown to include four distinct business lines to better serve the needs of manufacturers at home in the U.S. and abroad. We invite you to learn more.

As one of the longest-running family-owned businesses in the U.S., Jacob Stern & Sons, Inc. is proud of a long history of innovation and growth.

    In the beginning

    Jacob Stern and his family arrived in America as German immigrants in the 1830s. By 1857, he was trading hides on the docks of Philadelphia.

    Like father like son

    Jacob Stern hired his son Arthur to help with the growing business.

    From hides to candles

    Isaac Katzenberg, Jacob Stern’s son-in-law, created a profitable opportunity, opening a new market for tallow, a product popular at the time for making soaps and candles.

    The strength of a good relationship

    Jacob Stern & Sons established a banking relationship with prominent banker J.P. Morgan, which lasted approx. 100 years.

    Grand momentum

    Jacob Stern’s Grandsons (Isaac Katzenberg’s sons), Lucien and Milton, joined the business and as the United States grew, Lucien was able to expand the tallow business, while Milton maintained their profitable hides business.

    Hide and go seek

    To fulfill growing demand, Jacob Stern & Sons purchased a hides warehouse in Philadelphia at Tioga Street and Aramingo Avenue.

    Fortunes of war

    Following a brief shutdown, both tallow and hides businesses successfully resumed after family members returned from World War I.

    Giving credit where credit was due

    Jacob Stern & Sons survived the Great Depression. The company demonstrated its commitment to their business relationships by offering extensions of credit to long-time customers.

    The launch of Acme-Hardesty

    A chemical engineer named William Hardesty approached Lucien Katzenberg with the proposition of splitting tallow to yield glycerine, a substance that could be used to produce explosives. The idea was appealing to the family and the plant was commissioned to manufacture glycerine to help support World War II efforts. In the late 1940’s, Milton Katzenberg was able to secure new business relationships and moved the hides business to New York.

    Jacob Stern & Sons turns 100

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote a congratulatory telegram to Lucien Katzenberg Jr. to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary on January 5th, 1957.

    Winning in the West

    Jacob Stern & Sons expanded to the Midwest (1962), Texas (1964), and the West Coast (1968), to become the company’s first tallow business endeavors beyond Philadelphia. In 1964, Philip Bernstein, Jacob Stern’s great-great grandson, became Assistant Plant Manager in the Philadelphia plant.

    Feeding frenzy

    Jacob Stern & Sons became a manufacturer and supplier of animal feed ingredients. After the debut of Unifat® (a blended feed fat), Snow Commodities Company in California was formed to trade and distribute dry commodities for the West Coast feed industry. Feed-fat plants were also established in Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

    The future–held in the palm

    Acme-Hardesty created a new supply-chain strategy and began importing and distributing palm-based oleochemicals from Malaysia. In the late 1980s, Jacob Stern & Sons’ Texas plant became the world’s largest facility dedicated to tallow when it was modernized to accommodate any type of specification requirements for its worldwide customers.

    Some is good, more is better

    Jacob Stern & Sons sold its Snow Commodities and the Unifat product line. Jacob Stern & Sons formed new banking relationships with Rabobank, Wells Fargo, and Brown Brothers Harriman. Acme-Hardesty pioneered the first bulk importation of palm-oil-based oleochemicals into the United States and continued to expand product offerings with bulk shipments of castor oil from Brazil, and later India.

    Deep roots. New growth.

    Building upon a heritage of more than 160 years in business. Today, Jacob Stern & Sons is one of the largest processors and marketers of tallow in the world, and still managed by a dedicated descendant of the founder—owner and Chairman of the Board, Philip Bernstein, who started out as an Assistant Plant Manager in 1964.

    Acme-Hardesty is one of the biggest importers, marketers, and value-added distributors of palm-oil-based oleochemicals, castor oil, and castor oil derivatives in North America.

    Meet the executives who guide our company forward.

    • Philip L. Bernstein Chairman
    • Eric Logan Chief Executive Officer
    • Steve Kulchin Chief Human Resources Officer
    • David Geier Chief Financial Officer
    • Jeff Berger Chief Information Officer

    Philip L. Bernstein, Chairman

    Philip Bernstein began working for Jacob Stern & Sons, Inc. while in high school. He continued working for the company throughout college, and in March of 1964, began his full-time career with the company at the Jacob Stern & Sons’ facility in Philadelphia.

    After holding positions of increasing responsibility, Mr. Bernstein assumed full management for the company and its divisions in the mid-1970’s. In 1980, Mr. Bernstein acquired all remaining family-owned shares of Jacob Stern & Sons, becoming the sole owner of the company.

    In 1984, Mr. Bernstein relocated the company’s headquarters from the Philadelphia area to Santa Barbara, California. He continued to manage the daily operations of Jacob Stern & Sons and its divisions until 2002, when the first non-family CEO of the company was appointed. Mr. Bernstein retained the position of Chairman, a role he continues to maintain in the present day.

    Eric Logan, Chief Executive Officer

    Eric has served as CEO of Jacob Stern & Sons, Inc. since November 2023. Eric previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of Jacob Stern & Sons, Inc. since 2019. Eric has 25 years of financial and operational experience in public and private goods and services businesses. Prior to joining Jacob Stern & Sons, Inc., Mr. Logan was the Chief Operating Officer of Cobra Puma Golf in Carlsbad, California, with responsibility for Cobra product development, operations, finance, accounting, credit, customer service and human resources. Prior to Cobra Puma Golf, Mr. Logan was the Chief Financial Officer of privately held Eagle Golf, which owned and managed 75 golf courses in the US, and the Chief Financial Officer of Adams Golf, a publicly held golf equipment manufacturer.

    Mr. Logan received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his Masters in Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

    Steve Kulchin, Chief Human Resources Officer

    Steve Kulchin joined Jacob Stern & Sons as Vice-President, Human Resources in January 2016. Steve provides HR strategic leadership and tactical support at the Corporate and Divisional levels (Jacob Stern & Sons, Houston and Acme-Hardesty, Blue Bell). Steve strives to instill top notch HR practices that help to enable the company to excel and to attract, engage and retain our most critical asset—our people.

    Steve brings extensive leadership expertise to Jacob Stern. Prior to joining the team, Steve was VP HR for Mission Linen Supply, where he helped to set and attain growth and profitability goals for the privately held industry leader for nearly two decades. Prior to MLS, Steve held influential HR leadership positions at Neutrogena, Johnson & Johnson, and Hughes Aircraft Company. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources Management from San Diego State University.

    David Geier, Chief Financial Officer

    Serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Jacob Stern & Sons, Inc., David has 17 years of financial experience in public and private goods and services businesses. Prior to joining Jacob Stern & Sons Inc. in March 2021, Mr. Geier was the Sr. Director of Finance & Accounting for the Golf Division of publicly held PUMA AG, in Carlsbad, California, with responsibility for Corporate Finance, FP&A, Accounting, Accounts Payable, Internal Audit, & Business Intelligence. Prior to PUMA AG, Mr. Geier was a participant in the Financial Leadership Development Program for a defense contractor, publicly held BAE Systems Inc.

    Mr. Geier received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with emphasis in Corporate Finance, from the Fowler School of Business at San Diego State University. Mr. Geier also has a minor in Econometrics from the college of arts at San Diego State University.

    Jeff Berger, Chief Information Officer

    Jeff Berger joined Jacob Stern & Sons, Information Technology in October 2022. Jeff provides strategic leadership and tactical support at the Corporate and Divisional levels (Jacob Stern & Sons, JST Global, and Acme-Hardesty, Blue Bell). Jeff brings a leadership style that is built on a natural curiosity and respect for people, process, and technology. Prior to joining Jacob Stern & Sons, Jeff has led IT departments in multiple industries with a track record of building innovative solutions and leading teams to achieve business goals and deliver value to stakeholders. Jeff has held senior level technology positions at Customers Bank, Trinity Logistics, NFI Industries, and Philadelphia Media Network (The publisher of the Inquirer, Daily News,

    Jeff holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Rutgers University.