It all started in 1921...

Herbert P. Eakin began MTC Distributing as Modesto Tobacco Company in 1921, a small, family-owned business distributing tobacco products to Modesto and the Central California Valley.

In 1932, Herbert's son William Eakin, took over the family business and the name was changed to Modesto Tobacco and Candy, reflecting the incorporation of candy to the product line. The recipient of many industry awards, William was active in the local community and a leader in the national trade organizations. Under his leadership, Modesto Tobacco and Candy flourished, necessitating 4 distribution center changes during his tenure.


In 1986, Tom Eakin purchased the business from his father, William, and the company became MTC Distributing, reflecting an expanded product selection beyond tobacco and candy. During this time, acquisitions of other distributors had occurred, increasing MTC's coverage area and market base. Under Tom Eakin's leadership, MTC Distributing has grown to become the largest independent distributor west of the Mississippi.

Our staff of over 200 people provides virtually all the items found in a modern convenience store to customers throughout California. Our inventory has expanded to include grocery, snack and candy items, frozen foods, beverages, health and beauty aids, automotive supplies, as well as a full-line of convenience store equipment and fixtures.MTC Distributing prides itself on providing exemplary service to our customers.Our new, fully-automated warehouse uses the most modern inventory technologies available and our experience, expertise, competitive prices, and services have made us a leader in customer satisfaction. As we enter the 21st Century, you can trust that MTC will continue to expand and change, meeting the needs of our customers in the years ahead.

Where we've been

As MTC Distributing grew, so did the need for different locations that could facilitate our growth. Below are a few pictures of where we've been. Though we've moved around, one thing remained certain -- we've been a company based out of Modesto, CA.

Warehouse, H Street, circa 1940.

In 1951, MTC moved into a new warehouse off of Kansas Avenue.

In the late 60's, MTC moved yet again, this time to 761 Kearney Avenue, next to the central Post Office at the time. This building still stands and is owned by Steve Eakin, Tom Eakins brother. Cal-Pak Systems, Inc., the software company owned by MTC was born in this building.

In 1983, MTC moved to 1573 Cummins Drive. This building was in use until 2001. The building still exists.

In 2001, MTC moved to the ultra-modern distributing facility on 4900 Stoddard Road in Modesto. This warehouse will provide the next generation of innovative services that our customers have grown so accustomed to over the years.


Historical Photography
(click on images to enlarge)

William Eakin, ci. 1930 in front of Ginotti's Grocery.

MTC Employees - 1954

Eakin Distributing in 1950's (used name for a short time before going back to Modesto Tobacco and Candy). Tom Stewart (first to left) Sales Manager in the 50's with the sales team.

Tom Stewart (Left), circa 1953.

MTC Employees - 1970's. William Eakin center, Fran Eakin (William's Wife) right of him, Tom Eakin (next to Fran).

William Eakin - 1970's