Still Truckin’

Two generations deliver on a former longshoreman's American Dream.

Cory Home Delivery Service
Founded: 1934
Owners: The Cory Family
Business: Warehousing and distribution of furinture, appliances, and electronics
Family Members Employed: 9
Employees: 350, plus more than 1,000 independant contractors
Generations Actively Involved: 2

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"I’m Pat Cory, and I’m a truck driver.”

These simple words symbolize how the Cory family business has remained true to its humble beginnings—although its current fleet of more than 500 trucks makes Cory Home Delivery Service one of the largest specialized home-delivery carriers in America.

It all started in Brooklyn in 1934. Family patriarch Joseph Corigliano, a first-generation Italian-American, was working as a longshoreman and seeking an opportunity to fulfill his American dream.

“He was an ambitious guy with a lot of street smarts,” says grandson Patrick Cory, the company’s vice president of strategic planning. “He saw everything coming into the docks and thought, ‘Hey, why not deliver it too?’”

A stroke of luck paved the way for the company’s success. “My grandfather was friends with a man named Jules Seaman, who owned a small furniture store,” Cory says. It only took one delivery by Corigliano for the men to realize they could do business. The small store evolved into the Seaman’s Furniture empire, and Seaman’s two sons later founded Rooms to Go, the largest American retail furniture chain—and now Cory’s client.

But Corigliano had a good business mind, too. He changed the family name to Cory to fit easily on a truck and “to sound more American and generic,” says Patrick. “At the time, he didn’t realize Cory actually sounds more Irish than Italian. That, and we’ve got some pretty decent-size trucks nowadays.”

Today, with new headquarters in Secaucus, Cory Home Delivery serves clients such as Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, and Ethan Allen, delivering to more than 2.8 million consumers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The company racked up $73 million in sales last year. 

“We’re not a commodity business, we are a service business,” says Patrick, 39, of Freehold. “Women are 80 percent of our customers, and some of them may have been saving many years for that piece of furniture we are helping to move. We really are delivering their dreams, and when we do business, it all leads up to the moment we knock on that front door and enter their sanctuary.”

This sensitivity and appreciation for hard work is what made Patrick follow in the family tradition. He began working for the company part-time while in middle school. “It was really a natural progression for me,” he says. “To be honest, it became my idealized manhood. I watched the older men move the boxes, drive the truck—everything—and thought, ‘This is the measure of a man.’”

The “older men” included Corigliano’s sons, Joe Sr. and Jim Cory, who took over the business when their father passed away in 1977. Today they serve as CEO and president, respectively. Patrick and the rest of the third-generation management crew—cousin Kevin and brother Joe Cory Jr.—oversee daily operations, including 350 employees—among them four other family members—and 500 independent delivery teams, with two drivers to a team. The company is proud of its low turnover; many employees have been with Cory for more than twenty years.

“The secret to our success is our people,” Patrick says. “We’re lucky because they share our passion and live out the vision of the company every day. We know the only way to keep them working for us is to make sure that every person feels that they are a part of that extended Cory family.

“Many young men who work for us are Hispanic,” Patrick says. “I can’t help but see this great parallel between them and my grandfather—both looking for opportunities in a new country to make a better life, and in turn take care of their own families.”

As Cory Home Delivery prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary, the family is reminded of those simple beginnings. “I never worked as hard as them,” Patrick says of the older Cory generations. “But I saw them work that hard, and I saw the sacrifices they put in to make this company successful. And so I never forgot where I came from.”

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