NAPERVILLE, Ill.– KeHE Distributors announced today the opening of 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 conveniently 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, Executive Vice President of Independent Sales, 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, who 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.”
Over 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.”
“Especially during the pandemic, supplier out of stocks have a huge impact on our business. Our team at KeHE has been proactive and increased their communication to let us know exactly what to expect with our orders. If there is [an out of stock], they’ve quickly found replacements to ensure we have our shelves stocked with the products our customers need. As an independent retailer, having a partner looking out for us like KeHE does is huge,” said Brian Stencil, Store Manager & Specialty Buyer for MD-Based Independent Retailer Graul’s Market.
He continued, “with the KeHE Maryland DC transition specifically, we’ve experienced increased order accuracy, improved palletization of products, and earlier arrival times to allow us to get products on the shelf faster. They’ve also listened to our feedback and adapted order deadlines to help accommodate the needs of independents in the area.”
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 (KeHE) is the largest, pure play distributor of natural & organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, ecommerce retailers and other specialty product retailers throughout North America. KeHE is an employee-owned, B Corporation, with over 5,000 employees. Where KeHE Goes, Goodness Follows®. For more about KeHE, visit KeHE.com or check out our social media channels: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook,& Twitter.
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