Baltimore businessman won’t let a bad sports year sack his ambitious plans.
Inner City 100
Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC)
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB)
It’s not hard to imagine what a blow the Covid-19 crisis has been to the stadium vending industry: seasons canceled or truncated, major events abandoned. In short, “no fannies in the seats.”
But David McDonald, founder of All-Pro Vending in Baltimore, has been quick to find opportunities to expand his 24-year-old business thanks to forward thinking and a trusted staff of full-timers and contractors, many of whom have worked with him for decades.
All-Pro’s main business is selling drinks, hotdogs, peanuts and other treats in the stands on Baltimore Orioles and Ravens game days. David and his vice president, Clarence “Fancy Clancy” Haskett, have been at it since 1996, and Clancy still loves to hit the stands and put on a show.
But as David noted: “The name All-Pro Vending didn’t serve us well when we looked to expand. People thought we were in the vending-machine business.”
Knowing he had a long list of reliable workers, David formed a subsidiary in 2013 called All-Staffed-Up, which provides companies with temporary, contract and direct-hire employees in a wide range of fields.
That year he was invited into the Inner City Capital Connections program, and attended seminars and webinars to help get his staffing business up and running.
“What I value most from ICIC,” he said, “are the interactions with other entrepreneurs and the conventions, where we hear from experts about cases and solutions.”
Thanks to diversification, All-Pro Vending’s projected 2020 revenue despite the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Building bright careers.
With his combination of businesses, David is able to employ 18 full-timers, 15 of whom are Baltimore residents. When sports like football are in full swing, though, his seasonal part-time staff jumps to 170.
As a minority entrepreneur with such a strong track record, David says few things are as satisfying as hiring from the Baltimore community.
“We started in this as employees ourselves,” he said, “so it means a lot to us to get a senior in high school and show them the business that we fell in love with. We give a lot of people of color their entrées into the workforce.”
The number of seasonal workers All-Pro can take on during an average year as a result of its long-term relations with Baltimore sports teams.