Gordon Food Service
, a food distributor and grocer, has bought the 158-acre former Albertson's LLC distribution center in Plant City, a facility that it will fill with 350 people and use for future growth in central and west Florida
The facility houses 1 million square feet of warehouse and office space off Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando, a central, accessible location for moving food through the region. Gordon has other Florida distribution centers in Miami and Ocala. It plans to begin shipping product out of the Plant City warehouse this fall.
"The facility is in a prime location to support our rapid growth in Florida," says Jim Gordon, president of Gordon, which distributes food and runs GFS Marketplace grocery stores throughout North America, including locations in Brandon, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. It plans to open two more Tampa Bay region stores this year in North Tampa and Bradenton.
Plant City Mayor Rick Lott, who has seen his municipality lose businesses and jobs in the past year, was especially moved by the news.
"Gordon Food Service is a great addition to Plant City's corporate family and its investment and job creation are a welcome boost to the local economy," Lott says.
Gordon, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., is a family owned company, started in 1897 as a butter-and-egg distributor. It now has 132 GFS Marketplace stores in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee and 12 distribution centers serving all of Canada and select areas from northern Michigan to Key West.
The company came to Florida in 2003 when it bought the store, delivery business and Miami distribution center from the Smart & Final chain. From there, Gordon began supplying food to hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes, cruise ships and other businesses. It then opened an Ocala distribution center in 2007 to serve northern Florida.
Writer: Dave Szymanski
Source: Jim Gordon, Gordon Food Service