Arizona Fireplaces was founded in 1980 and remains privately owned and proudly based in Phoenix, Arizona. We grew from its founding entity ‘Arizona Fasteners Corp’ which began by serving the hardware needs of the local home building community.
Today, we are a recognized industry leader and national distributor, supplying and distributing an innovative range of products with life and style in mind. We are honored to serve our community and offer our customers the finest availability of major name brand fireplaces and hearth accessories.
Who we are - AF Company Origins
America loves a story where ordinary people, through hard work and a little luck, can build a high-quality company from literally a young husband and wife out of their garage in 1980 to now over 300 employees all still based in Arizona. This is the true to life story of the Richardson family and how—and why—Arizona Fireplaces and AF Distributors has become one the largest family-owned businesses as listed in the Phoenix Business Journal.
Don and Debbie Richardson are that husband-and-wife team and have worked hard throughout the years in Arizona’s strong construction building climate. Of course, these booming times also go hand in hand with the tougher times of the late ‘80s and the 2008 recessions where Arizona Fireplaces had to cut back, survive, and prepare for the future.
Enter their eldest son, Keith Richardson, who had recently graduated from Redlands University at age 23. He jumped into the 2008 recession thinking that those tough times were normal, that it was just how business was: tough and gritty. Being a middle linebacker and a team captain in college, Keith brought his blue collar “get your hands dirty” attitude into the company whose leadership and hard work helped navigate the company through this downturn. “I thought this was just how tough owning a business was,” Keith remembers, “I thought this was normal.”
The lessons that Keith learned during these tough times gave him the foundation for leading an expansion of Arizona Fireplaces that is now at a level never seen before in the fireplace distribution and supply industry. After being President of Arizona Fireplaces and AF Distributors for 8 years now, at age 38, Keith has helped transform his family’s business from a Phoenix based “mom and pop” supplier of fireplace equipment to a nationally recognized and respected powerhouse company that is a leader within the fireplace and hearth industry.
Keith has the unique ability to use his natural talent and leadership style to keep the personal and human touch in customer service, and to stay humble because of the lessons learned from those tough times. He keeps the importance of the feel of the “mom and pop” business while at the same time providing the financial strength and large inventory that enable Arizona Fireplaces to support its dealers and contractors through-out the Southwest. Our reach now includes (of course) Arizona, Southern California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.
Keith reminds his team, “When we focus on how we can help make our customers successful, then our value and importance to them increases which usually ends up with positive results for all of us.”
Keith is the eldest of two sons in the Richardson clan, and his brother Kris, at 37, is President of RPG Brands (Richardson Products Group). This company is an internationally recognized manufacturer of such well-known brands as Modern Flames Electric Fireplaces, Grand Canyon Gas Logs, and Wildfire Outdoor Living which specializes in the manufacture of mid to high end BBQ equipment. All of these brands are sold throughout the United States and Canada through large distributors similar to his brother’s AF Distributors.
It is with humility and gratitude that we realize our place in the industry. We won’t forget our humble beginnings as it is the foundation upon which we built the culture inside Arizona Fireplaces and its related companies. We conduct business and
treat everyone we engage with – our employees, clients and customers, vendors, and manufacturers, etc. — with a willingness to serve, to be honorable in all that we do and to always do the right thing. Whether large or small, these values cannot and
will not change.