KeHE Distributors is fully committed to pushing the agenda of specialty and natural foods. The company aims to elevate its service offerings for Midwest retail partners, recently launching a new distribution center located in Indiana.
“Essential workers, like our retail customers, have worked tirelessly to keep food on the table of their communities this year during the unprecedented times,” said Chris Sieburg, Executive Vice President of Warehouse Operations at KeHE. “We are extremely proud to enhance our operations for natural retailers throughout the Midwest to ensure they have the products and support they need to weather this storm. This new facility will expand our product assortment and inventory, improve delivery times, and increase speed-to-shelf of new items, all incredibly important to the success of our customers.”
A press release explained that the 376,512 square-foot facility, located in West Ellettsville in southern Indiana, will replace the company’s current distribution center in Bloomington, IN. KeHE’s network of 16 national distribution centers provides natural, organic, fresh, and specialty products to natural food stores, grocery stores, and other specialty retailers throughout North America.
Over 225 employees are currently working in KeHE’s southern Indiana distribution center, which features 80,195 square-feet of dedicated freezer space and 61,000 square feet of refrigerated cooler space, including a 32,350-square-foot refrigerated dock to keep perishable items cool and fresh during the loading process.
“This year has been full of unique and unforeseen challenges. When the pandemic hoarding began, our store was wiped out seemingly in minutes,” said Jennifer Radtke, Grocery Buyer and Assistant Manager at Health Hut Mukwonago. “In the first few weeks of March, I realized that how I purchase for the store was going to present challenges in not only the ordering process, but present challenges in receiving product. KeHE has been key to our success both during the last eight months and as part of our daily operations for many years.”
Ken El-Talabani, Chief Operations Officer at Sunrise Health Foods, also commented on his company’s relationship with KeHE.
“We appreciate the outstanding customer service that each one of the [KeHE] employees provided during the COVID -19 pandemic. Manufacturers out of stocks have a massive effect on our stores,” he said. “The KeHE team was hands-on in our day to day operations finding [comparable] products to fill our shelves. Choosing KeHE as our distributor years ago has been a winning experience for our stores and customers.”
As part of KeHE’s ongoing environmental commitment to better the planet and the lives of the people it works with, the new distribution center is complete with energy-efficient LED lighting, an Alta cooler and freezer system, and energy monitoring systems. In addition, KeHE recycles plastic and closely monitors waste to reduce the impact of their nationwide supply chain for generations to come.
The specialty landscape is always shifting, so keep an eye out for more reports from Deli Market News.