North Houston Delivers with logo of four arrows in the District's vibrant brand colors of teal, light green, dark green and medium blue.

Feature story series highlighting why businesses choose the North Houston District

Market shifts are changing District demographics as logistics and distribution companies emerge as crucial development drivers. The buildout of Pinto Business Park, prime property conversions, and entrepreneurs investing in value warehouses are expanding our area from a primary office activity center to include a regional distribution hub, demanding a qualified workforce.

As new land use diversifies our portfolio, brokers still tout proximity to Bush Intercontinental Airport and the intersection of I-45 North and Beltway 8 as irrefutable assets. In each edition of Quadrants, the Distirct’s quarterly direct mail newsletter, we feature a business that’s thriving in this season of change.

February 2024 – Relocation Destination for Homegrown Boutique 3PL

101 Esplanade Blvd, Suite 400
Houston, Texas 77060

Jason Conner has a charismatic air about him. He has an innovative spark, and his wheels turn faster than most. He and his team hustles, and they understand the power of going the extra mile.

Jason is the President of Cardinal Delivery, a homegrown 3PL company that relocated to the District in January 2023. 3PL stands for third-party logistics, a system where an organization provides logistics services to companies needing inventory management and distribution. Several companies offer 3PL in Houston, but only some can transload refrigerated groceries, just one of the niche services that helps Cardinal stand out.


North Houston Niche
“Cardinal is one of the premier perishable good delivery solutions in Houston,” said Conner. “We have trucks back in almost daily with frozen goods that go directly into one of our refrigerated box trucks, and we deliver the final mile.”

But it doesn’t stop there. Jason and his team are building a “Boutique 3PL” concept to partner with businesses needing nationwide freight services, seamless warehouse storage, distribution, fulfillment, and final mile solutions. Cardinal customers use online tools to track warehouse inventory and choose the cargo they need to release. Then, they get notifications when the shipment goes out, with pictures of how it was packed and strapped. Conner said their customized software system offers a service traditionally reserved for 3PL giants.

“We are small enough to offer single points of contact and large enough to offer modern technology that businesses want,” he said. “We’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re offering a better customer experience.”


In late 2018, Conner worked in food service sales for a national distributor and regularly needed a refrigerated hot shot for client catering operations. He sourced local businesses when he could, but contract trucks were often too busy to help him. So, he started planning a side business to fill the void.

On a good friend’s recommendation, Conner searched for an existing company to buy and found a local business on the market. Next thing you know, Jason and his friend partnered to purchase a refrigerated hotshot company called Per the Mile and grew it by 300 percent in 14 months. Jason quit his day job, and then less than three months later, COVID lockdowns pumped the brakes on their progress.

“The pandemic hit us hard,” said Conner. “We were doing less than 20 weekly deliveries at one point and had to pivot. My partner recommended we acquire another courier company during the downturn, and we found a large, local, 28-year-old business called Cardinal Delivery for sale in Houston.”

In January 2022, the dynamic duo merged Per The Mile into Cardinal Delivery and began operating out of Cardinal’s 9600-square-foot facility in Houston Heights. They updated the dispatch and warehouse software, fine-tuned internet marketing, and launched Cardinal Freight the following year.

In January of 2023, their realtor found 101 Esplanade Boulevard, a 41,000-square-foot warehouse with twice the office space as their previous facility.

“The proximity to Bush Airport, plus access to major freeways, made this a great opportunity,” he said. “Our location will always give us a strategic edge because of the quick access to 45 North. With 10 bays, we can comfortably handle most transportation services our clients need to scale their businesses.”

In 2024, Cardinal Delivery is growing vertically and deepening partnerships. In their warehouse operations, they have the capacity for 15,000 pallets and have 11,000 occupied with managed inventory. Additional high piles are planned for this year.

In the long term, they’d like to add another facility closer to the port to expand cargo operations and on-site refrigerated storage. They have a strategic partnership with a nearby Houston-based, family-owned frozen food storage provider for now.

Cardinal Delivery offers a trifecta of hot shot final mile, warehouse, and freight services with extraordinary customer experience, modern digital tools, and niche expertise in refrigerated perishable goods. They chose the North Houston District for location, opportunity, and access.

Share this story and read more from our Winter 2024 newsletter at



October 2023 – Meet our new logistics and distribution neighbor.


15535 West Hardy Road

Houston, TX 77060

collage of handsome black man smiling inside and outside of his warehouse with office space.

Long before George Broughton III signed a lease on a 12,000-square-foot warehouse space near Hardy Tollroad and Beltway 8, he knew North Houston was where he wanted to make his mark.

“It was so easy for me to decide on this area,” said Broughton, CEO of Sterile Mate, the medical and industrial supply company he founded in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I understand how economic investment can change a community.”

A former flight attendant and instructor with United Airlines for 15 years, Broughton hails from Chicago’s South Side, where he was a social worker before he landed in Houston in 2017 by way of Englewood, California. He said he’s witnessed both of his former communities’ revitalization through redevelopment and economic structure change. He said North Houston is primed for the same.

“I saw how economics can change a community, and I had a vision of great development happening here,” he said. “I saw the potential right away.”

Now, by bringing Sterile Mate to the area, Broughton hopes to count himself as one of the area’s change makers as the region shifts from primarily office development to a regional logistics and distribution hub. Not only is he basing his business here at 15535 West Hardy Road, he’s also in talks to rent out an additional 18,000 square feet of space across the street.

“I think we’re going to expand quickly,” he said, detailing plans to hire a staff of three to five warehouse handlers, a six-person sales team and three drivers as well as an accountant and receptionist.

He plans to have his staff – which he hopes to find locally – hired and up and running by the end of 2023.

“I’m really excited about being part of the revitalization and growth of this community,” he said.

Sterile Mate partners with several Houston hospitals and specializes in sourcing and delivering hard-to-find medical supplies, including those for diabetics and surgical procedures.

Broughton said the idea for the company came to him after a friend approached him in 2020 about creating a marketing plan for a residential and commercial sterilization company.

Because of a pandemic-era employment deal with United Airlines that he’d taken advantage of, Broughton had the time to devote to building the plan and told his friend he could help.

Though his buddy appreciated the marketing plan, he didn’t go with the name Broughton suggested – Sterile Mate. Instead of tossing a good idea, Broughton applied the name to his own venture. He said the move to work in the medical community also stemmed from valuable advice from his mentor.

“He said, whenever there’s tragedy, I should find a way to be of service to others, and I’ll always win,” he recalled.

Broughton took that mantra to heart. He reached out to a local hospital and quickly discovered they sorely needed masks and gloves, a scarcity during the early days of the pandemic.

Armed with a mission, he went to work, and within 48 hours Broughton was able to find 100,000 of the exact surgical masks the hospital needed for its operating room department from a supplier in Ohio. The deal was worth $400,000.

“For some reason this company decided to trust me out of the gate to get these masks to the hospital and to pay for them in the next 30 days, and that was how Sterile Mate started,” he said.

Once he secured that first deal, Broughton ran his business remotely for three years, building contacts and learning the ropes of the industry. Now, with the recent addition of the North Houston warehouse, he can source and store more supplies.


He said that expansion, coupled with his company’s close proximity to Bush Intercontinental Airport and downtown Houston, will be essential to Sterile Mate’s continued growth, allowing him to service his clients faster and more efficiently, all while operating more cost-effectively than he would in other areas of town.

“Coming here was all about strategy,” he said. “I want people to know that it’s vibrant here, that it’s a great place to live and a great place to work.”




New project? Big deal? Exciting expansion? Share the news with us!

Contact Colleen Martin at or call 281-874-2138.

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