Lois Gamerman Selected as Maryland Small Business Person of the Year by U.S. Small Business Administration

(Jessup, Md) – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has selected Lois Gamerman, President & CEO of Soft Stuff Distributors, as Maryland’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2023.

Over 50 outstanding small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the United States, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, were selected as Small Business Person of the Year winners. Winners will be recognized at an event on May 1 as part of National Small Business Week – April 30-May 6. One of the Small Business Persons of the Year will be named the 2023 National Small Business Person of the Year at the award ceremony.

Led by the SBA for more than 60 years, NSBW recognizes the hard work, ingenuity, and dedication of America’s small businesses, and celebrates their contributions to the economy.

“I am honored to be recognized. Through the dynamic efforts of my amazing team, we were able to survive the pandemic and have been able to grow Soft Stuff to current annualized sales volume in excess of $20 million and more than 50 employees in 2023.  It was not easy for small businesses to adapt to the new challenges we faced during and following the pandemic. This award spotlights the importance of small businesses on our local economies and individual families,” states Gamerman.

Founded more than 30 years ago by Lois and Bob Gamerman, Soft Stuff Distributors, a WBENC-certified business, is the premier specialty food distributor for the Mid-Atlantic region serving restaurants, hotels, conference centers, universities, retailers, and consumers throughout Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C, and Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Jessup, Soft Stuff Distributors is known for its uniquely curated collection of specialty foods, soups, desserts, pastries, and baked goods, and expanded collection of top quality prepackaged, natural foods and beverage items. 

Soft Stuff Distributors projects  $25 million in annualized revenue by the 4th quarter  2023, a 82% growth since 2019.

The Gamermans plan to expand in the supply chain beyond food distribution by entering the cold storage and 3PL fulfillment business. The lack of capacity and absence of customer service in the cold storage industry creates a powerful opportunity for which they are well positioned. Mid-Atlantic Cold Storage is actively negotiating for a property that would add capacity for 8,200 pallets. Mid-Atlantic Cold Storage will be the only woman-owned cold storage facility in the nation, and will address the growing demand for cold storage that is currently woefully underserved.


For more information about Soft Stuff Distributors, visit gosoftstuff.com

To learn more about National Small Business Week, visit sba.gov/nsbw.