Naperville, Illinois-baed KeHE Distributors says it is opening a new Maryland distribution center which will help better service the unique needs of independent retailers in the northeast region.
The 550,000-square-foot Maryland facility is located between Washington, D.C., and New York City, bringing KeHE’s network to 16 national distribution centers that provide natural, organic and specialty products to natural food stores, grocery stores and other specialty retailers throughout North America.
“We are extremely proud to expand our operations throughout the northeast region to enhance our supply chain services to independent retailers in that portion of the country,” said Amy Kirtland, EVP of independent sales for KeHE. “We believe that independent retailers are the heart of their communities and we want to help them thrive. This expansion will improve delivery times, increase speed-to-shelf of new items and power overall operational excellence.”
“Spending the last year working with the KeHE team has been fantastic,” said Eric Yetta, chief operations officer at Maryland-based Mom’s Organic Market, which is serviced by the new warehouse. “There was nothing easy about the decision to switch our main distributor here, at Moms, from UNFI to KeHE, but during the entire process, the KeHE team was so positive and collaborative. It turned out to be a great experience and a huge win for our store teams and our customers.”
More than 90 employees are currently working in KeHE’s northeast distribution center, which features 82,000 square feet of dedicated freezer space, 54,000 square feet of refrigerated cooler space and a 19,000-square-foot refrigerated dock to keep perishable items cool and fresh during the loading process.
Mark Knauss, distribution center manager at Kimberton Whole Foods, stated, “Distribution is theoretically easy, moving items from point A to Point B. It is all the chaos that happens in between that you need a partner willing to stand with you in the thick of things, working hard to resolve issues and push on. KeHE’s [Maryland facility] is proving to be that partner.”
As part of KeHE’s ongoing sustainability effort, the new distribution center is complete with energy-efficient LED lighting. In addition, KeHE has collaborated with some of its larger customers to implement a plastic tote exchange, which will lead to a significant reduction of waste. The facility also separates recycling daily. Take a virtual tour of the new warehouse here.
KeHE Distributors LLC is the largest, pure play distributor of natural and organic, specialty and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers and other specialty product retailers throughout North America. KeHE is an employee-owned, B Corporation, with over 5,000 employees.