By Wayne Chargualaf
Calvin E. Holloway Jr., co-owner (with wife Lenette M. Holloway) and general manager of Warehouse Pacific Inc. and Guam Village Market, moved around a lot as a child. A military dependent born in Fort Worth, Texas. Holloway lived in various places including Japan and Guam. In 1984, after spending some time attending the College of San Mateo in California, Holloway’s father asked Holloway to move with him back to Guam.
“I came back to Guam and just never left,” he says. Holloway attended Guam Community College before studying business administration at the University of Guam. He credits much of his business success, however, to his 20 years working at T Galleria by DFS Guam.
“I call it the college of DFS,” he says. “The skills of managing a business, merchandising, retailing — they bring you through A to Z. It’s been very helpful in what we’re doing now. And I know others here on Guam that worked for DFS that have ventured out and started their own business, and those people are also doing very well because of the training we received from DFS.”
Originally a wholesaler, Warehouse Pacific has continually changed its business model and become multi-faceted over the years. While Warehouse Pacific still maintains the wholesale side of its business by representing brands such as Old Trapper beef jerky and Hawaii Popcorn Co., it has also helped Japanese-owned companies design and brand clothing items such as t-shirts, hats and dresses; developed toys and souvenir items; entered into manufacturing food items such as Mango Chocolate and Mango Tatiyas; and into retail, operating the Guam Village Market at Chamorro Village.
“Now that we have a store in Chamorro Village, it’s given us an opportunity to interact with the end customer and further develop our products,” says Holloway. “That’s why we can tell the clients who are buying our products that they’re guaranteed to sell or else we’ll take it back, because we actually interact with the customer. We actually sold it to the customer and got their feedback. We don’t make that offer not knowing whether or not it will do well.”
Holloway credits this commitment to quality and service to one of his mentors at DFS, who helped guide his overall business philosophy.
“One of my mentors, Adrian Aldridge [of DFS Guam] was the buyer for accessories, ties, scarves and sunglasses. He once said, ‘At the end of the day you want to walk away happy, feeling like everyone walked away as a winner,’ and that’s my approach to business. I always want to make sure we’re winning, our clients are winning and customers are winning.”
Although recent changes to Guam’s tourism market have presented several new challenges, Holloway remains optimistic and still enjoys what he does for a living.
“It brings great satisfaction when we’re driving down Tumon and we see four young Japanese girls wearing our dresses or carrying our handbag. Or when we’re in K-Mart and we look in a basket and see our products in there. It’s not the same as saying, ‘I did this for some company.’ You can say, ‘This is ours. We did that.’”
Calvin E. Holloway Jr. and Lenette M. Holloway
Warehouse Pacific Inc.
Guam Village Market