KeHE Distributors has opened a new distribution center in Maryland. The location will help the company better service the unique needs of independent retailers in the northeast region, KeHE said.
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 providing natural, organic and specialty products to natural food stores, grocery stores and other specialty retailers throughout North America. Naperville, Illinois-based KeHE is an employee-owned, B Corporation-certified, company with more than 5,000 employees in the United States and Canada.
“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.”
More than 90 employees are 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.
As part of KeHE’s ongoing sustainability effort, the new distribution center features 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.
“Spending the last year working with the KeHE team has been fantastic,” said Eric Yetta, COO at Rockville, 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 MOM's, 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.”