After 100 Years, A Name Change at Merchants

HATTIESBURG, MS - After a century in business, The Merchants Co. here has changed its name to reflect its day-to-day mission.

The Frosty Acres Brand distributorship and No. 24 on the ID Top 50 list of broadliners is now called Merchants Foodservice.

Don Suber, president, indicated that the former name did not reflect its foodservice character. "The Merchants Co. was fine when we were selling to retail stores but this is more definitive of what our company does. We are in the foodservice distribution business and that is our total thrust and that's what we're all about," Suber told ID Access. "The new name will deliver the proper message to our customers about the kind of business that we're actually in."

The distributorship's new $10 million distribution center in Clanton, AL, the third one after facilities here and in Jackson, MS, is equipped with wireless technology and barcode tracking systems and has eight temperature zones.

Suber is optimistic about business growth this year. "Last year, with a downturn in the economy, we had a 17% increase and after the first six months of this fiscal year we're tracking right at 20% and expecting a fantastic year. Things are looking brighter than they've ever been. The operators are happy and our sales people are happy," he said.

The company will celebrate its "100th" on Feb. 11.

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