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Calvin "Kern" Grimes

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Information about Calvin "Kern" Grimes

Profile image of Calvin "Kern" Grimes

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Sirloin Steak With All The Fixings, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados
Favorite Quote:
Have A Great Day

Birthplace

Born:
1/12/1940
Birth Location:
Boston, Massachusetts

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Sirloin Steak With All The Fixings, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados
Favorite Quote:
Have A Great Day

Birthplace

Born:
1/12/1940
Birth Location:
Boston
See how Calvin "Kern" Grimes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Entrepreneur Calvin “Kern” Grimes was born on January 12, 1940 in Boston, Massachusetts to Calvin Grimes, Sr. and Marguerite Grimes. The same year, his father founded Grimes Oil Company, which grew to become the largest and oldest minority owned and operated oil company in New England. Grimes grew up in Roxbury and Dorchester, Massachusetts, and graduated from Brighton High School in 1958.

Upon graduating from high school, Grimes began working in his father’s business. In 1958, the company expanded to a second truck, which was driven by Grimes. In 1969, the company was incorporated as Grimes Oil Company, Inc., and Grimes assumed the role of president and chief executive officer. Throughout the following decade, he led the company’s transition from a residential gas supplier to supplying corporations that included the Polaroid Corporation and Raytheon Company. In 1979, Grimes Oil Company, Inc. reported $30 million in sales. By 1988, Grimes Oil Company, Inc. had opened offices in New York City, Newark, San Francisco, and Miami. However, the company faced financial difficulties in the 1980s after two major clients failed to pay their debts, and Grimes negotiated a deal with its suppliers that allowed the company to continue to remain in business. In 1993, the company joined Intergy, Inc., a conglomeration that included Captree Chemicals and Aimtek Gas Company that invested in redevelopment projects in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

In 1979, Grimes Oil Company, Inc. appeared on Black Enterprise’s list of top black owned businesses in the country and was ranked at number nine. The company was also named in 1989 on the magazine’s list of “Companies to Watch in the 1990s.”

In addition to his career, Grimes was active with the Union Methodist Church, Prince Hall Mason, the Boys and Girls Club in Boston, and the Dimcock Community Health Center Foundation. The Grimes Oil Company also created a partnership with WGBH Boston in 1984 to fund programming for African Americans.

Grimes and his wife, Cheryl Grimes, have five children: Darlene M.C. Grimes, Lori B. Grimes, Kern Mitchell Grimes, Ashley Smallwood-Grimes, and C. Trevor Grimes.

Calvin “Kern” Grimes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 17, 2017.

See how Calvin "Kern" Grimes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Calvin "Kern" Grimes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about the changes at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers living in the Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls the racial demographics of his early community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his early religious experiences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his early household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers his parents' friends
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls Boston's black social scene
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes the creation of Grimes Oil Company
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about working with his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers his early responsibilities at Grimes Oil Company
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls acquiring a contract with Polaroid Corporation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes the benefits of President Richard Nixon's SBA programs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about the 8(a) Business Development Program
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls his growth strategy for Grimes Oil Company
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers Grimes Oil Company's recovery from bankruptcy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about working with contractors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers the death of his father
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about Minister Louis Farrakhan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes a corporate agreement involving Grimes Oil Company, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about Grimes Oil Company, Inc.'s current contracts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his hopes for Grimes Oil Company, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his organizational involvement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes reflects upon the progress of young African American professionals
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about the importance of minority set aside programs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes reflects upon his life