Office supplier on cue with purchase of billiards company C.P. Dean

C.P. Dean Co. President Sarah Ball and William Selden, the former owner of the company. (Photos courtesy of C.P. Dean Co.)

The family behind a local office supplies company has racked up a new business with the next generation in mind.

Melissa and Jonathan Ball, owners Ball Office Products, bought longtime Richmond-based billiards and games company C.P. Dean Co. from William Selden V in a deal that closed Wednesday.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The venture is a big break for Sarah Ball, the Balls’ 22-year-old daughter and recent William and Mary graduate. Sarah will run day-to-day operations as president. Melissa is C.P. Dean’s CEO.

C.P. Dean sells billiard tables, dart boards, foosball tables, other indoor games and related accessories. The company also sells custom trophies and awards.

Sarah said no major changes are currently in the works for the company, but said that looking forward she hopes to bump up the company’s digital operations.

“I personally want to increase online sales and our social media presence,” she said. “Looking forward, we have a lot of ideas that we’ll bounce around.”

While most of C.P. Dean’s business is in Virginia, its market extends across the mid-Atlantic region, Ball said.

The company has 10 employees and they are expected to continue in their employment. Selden also remains an employee of the company, and now oversees buying and selling.

C.P. Dean Co., a billiards and indoor games company, was bought by the Ball family of Ball Office Products in a deal that closed Wednesday.

C.P. Dean has its showroom and warehouse at 2044 Westmoreland St. in Henrico County, which is next to Ball Office Products at 2100 Westmoreland St.

Selden, who has run the business since 1971, said he was looking to hand off the company, and regular conversations with Jonathan one day segued into the idea of a sale.

“Being next door we share a parking lot and see each other every day. Jonathan Ball is a boater and I’m a boater so we always have something to talk about,” Selden said.

Selden said the deal was struck when he agreed to stay on, which freed him of management duties to focus on purchasing and sales.

“That seemed like the best thing for me. I could have my cake and eat it, too,” Selden said.

He said that the awards side of the business, which sells plaques and trophies to sports teams and offices, came to a temporary halt in March 2020 when the pandemic scattered sporting events and office workers. More recently that revenue stream has picked up again.

The company’s games business had the opposite experience last year, which made up for lost awards revenue.

“Everybody calling wanted some game they could put in the house because they needed something to do or the kids needed something to do,” he said. “The demand for that was the best we had in 15 or 20 years and it has kept up.”

The company declined to share revenue figures. Selden said the company sold 240 pool tables last year, and that it is on track to sell 250 to 275 tables this year.

C.P. Dean was founded in 1886 in Richmond by Charles Preston Dean. William Selden III bought the business in 1903. The company moved to its current location on Westmoreland Street about nine years ago.

C.P. Dean will operate separately from Ball Office Products, which Melissa and Jonathan founded in 2000. Ball Office Products acquired Smarter Interiors in 2018.

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