New 'super-regional' distribution network aims to rival the big nationals

Legacy Food Group has acquired four local distributors and said it intends to offer the benefits of scale without the headaches.
Legacy Foods said it's aiming to create a "super-regional" distribution network. | Photo: Shutterstock

A newly formed holding company is acquiring local foodservice distributors with the aim of offering restaurant clients the benefits of scale without the aggravations that can come with using a big national broadliner.

Legacy Food Group said it has begun the process with the purchase of stakes in four regional distributors:

  • Keck’s Food Service, a broadliner and bakery-products specialist serving independents and on-site foodservice operations within a 150-mile radius of Millerton, Pa.;
  • M&V Provisions, a re-distributor serving delis, bodegas and bagel shops out of its Ridgewood, N.Y., base;
  • Thomsen Foodservice, a broadliner serving independents in Massachusetts, Connecticut and its native Rhode Island;
  • Legacy Foodservice Alliance, a network of 120 hyperlocal distributors that extends across North America, Central America, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

The four companies’ principals will retain an equity interest in the operations, according to Legacy Foods.

Funding was provided by Quad-C Management, a Charlotte, N.C.-based private equity firm that has been an investor in Red Robin and Huddle House. Other details of the transactions were not revealed.

Simultaneous with Legacy Foods’ announcement of the deals, the UniPro Foodservice distribution collaborative announced that it has formed a “strategic partnership” with Legacy Foodservice Alliance as the first step toward acquiring it and making it an operating division as of Jan. 1.

That would make the Alliance a link between UniPro’s large network and the new one being formed by Legacy Food.

The new holding company says its objective is putting foodservice distribution on a “super-regional scale.” Each hauler in its portfolio will continue to function as a stand-alone operation run by its pre-acquisition management.

But “each operating division will enjoy new services and expertise that come from achieving scale,” the company said in the announcement of its formation. “This includes enhanced supplier relationships, consolidated purchasing benefits, coordinated sales and marketing support, and many other resources to build upon each company’s regional success.

Legacy Food will be led by Steven Push, who is also identified as the CEO of Legacy Foods Alliance. The announcement from UniPro said Push will remain in the top job at the Alliance until it’s absorbed into UniPro.

Legacy Food stated that it intends to acquire other regional haulers as the opportunities arise.

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