MOUNT PLEASANT (August 24, 2010)—Gordon Food Service, a wholesale and retail seller of bulk foods and other goods, is headed to the Racine area. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Gordon plans to open a new GFS Marketplace store on Highway 31. The 16,000-square-foot store will sit slightly north of Washington Avenue and immediately north of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, 1101 S. Green Bay Road.
The Mount Pleasant Village Board unanimously, and without discussion, approved Gordon's rezoning request from residential to business to make way for the project.
Bill Casey, a Gordon real estate manager, has assembled a total of 1.75 acres for its store, including two homes that will be razed. Casey said the company hopes to start the work this fall.
GFS customers include restaurants and other food-service providers such as caterers, pizzerias, taverns, golf courses, truck stops and golf courses; as well as day care centers, schools, churches and families.
The product mix tends to be about one-third cooler and freezer foods, one-third dry foods and one-third paper and kitchen products, Casey said.
Gordon states that its GFS Marketplace stores sell in both case and individual quantities. Casey said it will be possible to buy a gallon of milk, two pounds of cheese or a bag of chips.
But he added that most people will shop there for large gatherings, parties and events, and "to supplement your weekly shopping."
He compared GFS stores to Sam's Clubs and Costcos on price. The customer base is generally about 50-60 percent retail and 40-50 percent wholesale.
Product categories include meat, poultry and seafood; fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables; prepared foods; dairy; beverages; and cleaning supplies.
GFS also sells items used by food-service businesses such as tableware, catering supplies, bar supplies and cookware.
Casey said most GFS stores are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. He didn't expect this one to be any different.
The store will employ about 15 people, he said.
Gordon Foods has more than 130 stores in eight states. The nearest GFS store now is in Palatine, Ill.
The company also has a distribution center in Pleasant Prairie from which it makes deliveries to wholesale customers.
Gordon Food Service, which started in 1897 as a butter and egg delivery service, states that it is the largest family-owned, broad line food service distributor in North America, and one of the largest privately held U.S. companies.