In 1948, Ted Cotter moved to Los Angeles from Ireland. His brother was a Catholic priest in Los Angeles, and Ted got the idea to open a store selling religious items. His first store was no more than the front room of a rented house in the city of Long Beach.
Through the 1950’s he expanded twice to larger quarters in Long Beach. He briefly had a store in Fresno, but had to close it because the distance was just too great from his base in Long Beach. Southern California was expanding rapidly in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, and Cotters grew with it.
But the business declined in the mid 1960’s when the Church changed from Latin to English. A nearby competitor, C.F. Horan & Co., went bankrupt during this downturn, and Cotters took over their Los Angeles store, while retaining the store in Long Beach. The business soon recovered and grew steadily.
Ted’s sons Tim, Mike, & Patrick joined the company and began to modernize the expanding operations. The Los Angeles main office was remodeled in 1988. Over time, a series of three different computer systems were installed to run the daily operations. Catalog sales expanded the sales territory well beyond the Los Angeles area. A website was added to supplement the printed catalogs.
In 2010, Cotters returned to Fresno by purchasing San Joaquin Religious Goods with stores in Fresno & Modesto. In December of 2013, Cotters purchased West Coast Church Supply of South San Francisco to better serve the Bay Area and Northern California. In June of 2019, Cotter Church Supplies, Inc. took on a new partner, Anthem Church Supply of San Diego, shipping and billing all Anthem orders.
The Cotter family and their dedicated staff is proud to continue to provide quality products and personal service to all churches. We thank our many loyal customers and look forward to serving them in the future.
Tim, Mike, & Patrick Cotter