FORT WORTH, TX (March 22, 2011)—Ben E. Keith Foods, the eighth largest institutional foodservice distributor in the nation, based in Fort Worth, Texas, broke ground for its 475,000 sq ft distribution center on 82 acres in Missouri City, located in the southwestern Houston Metro area. Expected completion date for the facility is late 2012 or early 2013.
Robbie Fish, General Manager for the Houston Division welcomed the crowd of 340 well wishers and local officials. “We’ve been delivering groceries and building relationships in this area for twenty years, and now we will have a home. The favorite saying of our founder, Ben E. Keith, was ‘Pioneering is eternal’, and we live by his words today. This warehouse will be the very first foodservice distribution center in the country using a double deep automated storage and retrieval system, providing high density storage and ergonomically convenient putaway and selection capabilities for our employees,” he said. Green building initiatives are being utilized with the goal of achieving LEEDS Gold status for the division offices.
Ben E. Keith Foods President, Mike Roach, said, “We are here today to break ground on a facility that is the culmination of the efforts of a vast number of folks. Our thanks go out to each and every one. We look forward with great anticipation to the day when we can service our current and future customers from this new facility.”
Both Missouri City Mayor, Allen Owen, and Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council President Jeff Wiley lauded the project as a great benefit for the city and county in terms of the estimated 300 jobs for local residents as well as the significant increase to the tax base.
After the traditional turning of the dirt, lunch was served by Demeris BBQ Catering. Ben E. Keith Foods, established in 1906 and headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is currently comprised of six foodservice distribution centers and one systems distribution center servicing eleven states.
In the photo, left to right:
Jeff Wiley, President, Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council
Roy Markham, Assistant General Manager, BEK Houston Division
Andy McCaskill, Senior Vice President, BEK Foods
Robbie Fish, General Manager, BEK Houston Division
Grady Prestage, Fort Bend County Commissioner, Pct 2
Jim Lavender, Executive Vice President, BEK Foods
Mike Roach, President, BEK Foods
Robert Hallam, Chairman and CEO, Ben E. Keith Company
Allen Owen, Mayor, Missouri City
Howard Hallam, President and COO, Ben E. Keith Company
John Hallam, Vice President, Ben E. Keith Company
Robert Hallam, Jr., Vice President, Ben E. Keith Company
Ron Boyd, Senior Vice President, BEK Foods
Keith Pittman, Senior Vice President, BEK Foods
Mel Cockrell, CFO and Treasurer, Ben E. Keith Company
Scott Davison, Assistant General Manager, BEK Houston Division