Our Timeline


Saunders Book Wholesale starts as an offshoot of Jack Saunders' Saunders Stationery in Collingwood, ON. John Saunders began by working out of a small space at the back of the store by taking selections of books to local schools.


The business outgrew the space and in 1966 staff was hired and the book division moved to a house purchased by the company at 48 Ste. Marie Street in Collingwood


The business continued to grow and stocked books from many publishers in a new warehouse and office space at 199 Campbell St. With three sales people and eight office staff Saunders served public and school libraries across Ontario.


Saunders Book Company evolved to become an exclusive distributor for publishers in the education market. John signed agreements with four publishers and now numbers over 25. This allowed us to grow with a sales force across Canada.


In 1988 our sister divisions began operation, sending preview boxes of books to customers throughout Canada, in order to make their library selections easier.


Automation of all elements of the business occurred with a custom software system.


The company purchased a former grocery store building in beautiful Heathcote, ON to use as a warehouse. This expansion allowed the company to further expand its telemarketing sales in Canada.


More sister divisions were added to begin preview sales in the United States with shipping operations located in Mankato, MN.


The 27/29 Stewart Rd. location in Collingwood, ON was purchased consisting of 15,000 square feet of office space and 8,000 square feet of warehouse space.


A 6,000 square foot showroom was opened in Toronto


J.Appleseed was started by James Saunders to serve Canadian school classrooms with levelled reading support.


A building at 80 Sandford Drive in Collingwood, ON to provide for the expansion of our J.Appleseed division as well as housing warehousing and a second call centre.


Saunders Book Company began publishing under its own imprint with 300 paperback titles.


J.Appleseed partnered to publish Learn-Abouts, a levelled reading program for beginning readers.


Online ordering was added to our websites to provide for an easier ordering and selections process.


Saunders and its associated sister divisions expanded to offer digital resources to all schools in Canada and the United States.


Virtual previews were added to our telemarketing divisions to provide yet another way to select resources for school and public libraries.


Saunders Book Company began publishing French books under its own imprint and has continued to publish 30-70 titles a year in French.


In 2014 we started a new and exciting virtual reality product in the U.S., which allows our customers to preview our books digitally, then allows for them to order either a digital, hardcover, or paperback book.


Beech Street Books was created to provide schools and libraries with culturally relevant resources reflecting Canada today. Beech Street publishes 50 titles a year in both French and English, in hardcover, paperback and digital formats.


John Saunders and his wife Carol Saunders retired after 58 years of building Saunders Book Company and its related companies.


James Saunders (CEO Direct Sales and Publisher), Sean Pearson (CEO Telemarketing Sales) and Ian Kerr (COO) purchased Saunders Book Company after having worked in all aspects of the business for many years.


Comprehensive classroom products from Benchmark Education were added to our distributed products, giving Saunders a core literacy and phonics product offering for the first time.


Saunders continues to grow and now consists of four corporations, with 14 divisions. Interests include book distribution, book publishing through Beech Street and Saunders, telemarketing sales in Canada and the United States and digital sales.

We are a proud Canadian company based in Collingwood, ON where the Saunders family has lived and worked for seven generations. We are proud of our affiliations in the community and are happy to serve on many local boards and service clubs. We are proud of our employees both current and former and their impact on the lives of others. We currently have 90 staff and managers and our office and warehouse at 27/29 Stewart Rd. in Collingwood, ON. James, Sean and Ian would like to thank John and Carol Saunders and the entire family, our customers, suppliers and friends for their continued loyalty and everyone who has worked hard to make Saunders what it is today.