Fort Worth-based Ben E. Keith Company, est. 1906, has announced the opening of its newest distribution center in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The company currently operates with eight divisions shipping to fourteen states throughout the country.
“Ben E. Keith is everything we want an Arkansas company to be,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said in a news release. “I am very proud of the fact that we can be a partner with them, and that we can increase the economic growth of our state. It is about that partnership that is our future.”
The 24-month project to open the North Little Rock center included a 348,000-square foot warehouse with 78,850 square feet of office and maintenance facilities.
According to the release, the new center is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certified and will include the installation of the Dematic Automated Storage and Retrieval System, or ASRS. Additionally, three automated cranes will provide the food distributor maximum efficiency for fulfilling orders and performing warehousing functions.
The facility currently stocks over 18,000 SKUs, with 350 full-time employees. The new distribution center replaces two existing facilities in Central Arkansas, and will distribute in Arkansas, Southern Missouri, Northern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Central-Western Tennessee.
“Today is an exciting day for our customers and employees of the Mid-South Division,” Ben E. Keith Foods President Mike Sweet said in the release. “Our customers will now have access to a more diverse selection of items as well as facility they can use to help them in their business.”
“For our employees this facility represents the hard work and enthusiasm they display each and every day,” Sweet said. “This facility will provide a great work environment for them and something that they will be proud of to call home.”