MIDDLEBORO, Mass. (October 19, 2010)—An industrial-sized food fight could be in the making here. The town stands to host two competing food-service giants—Sysco Boston, LLC and Perkins Paper, Inc.—now that Lakeville has snubbed Sysco Boston, LLC and Perkins has confirmed a deal is under way to buyout Cirelli Foods Inc.
"We have an agreement in place to buy Cirelli's," said Laurence Perkins, president of Perkins Paper, Inc., which started as a paper-supply company and expanded to food service in 1973. "We're not expected to close for a couple weeks. The focus is on getting it done."
Perkins declined to provide details, other than to say a deal would result in a five-year lease for the Cirelli's building in Middleboro.
Officials from Sysco Boston, LLC confirmed Monday night that they have been considering several sites in Middleboro to host a 650,000 square-foot distribution center. The company had planned that building on the former Lakeville Hospital property, but Lakeville town meeting voters Monday night rejected a zoning change required to begin construction.
After the town meeting, which drew nearly 1,500 voters, Sysco Boston, LLC president Fred Casinelli said Middleboro officials already have made overtures to accommodate the company's $110 million warehouse.
While Sysco is a direct competitor, Perkins said the company's new plans will not affect his.
"If we do our job right, we don't have to worry about anybody else," he said.
Perkins said his company's annual sales are $450 million. The company has its headquarters in Taunton and employs 650 people, selling to companies across New England and in New York.