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Merchants Foodservice has grown into a leading wholesale food distributor and restaurant supplier—all from a small beginning in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
The Merchants Foodservice foundation was laid February 11, 1904, when seven original stockholders opened the Fain Grocery Company to service the retail and wholesale grocery trade.
The name changed to The Merchants Grocery Company in 1907, and construction began on a two-story brick warehouse. Soon after, Merchants started running a corn meal mill, a small grain elevator and a feed mill. In 1920, a cold storage plant was built to handle fresh fruit and vegetables.
In 1923, a milestone was reached. The Merchants Company generated one million dollars in sales. The next year, it opened a modern feed manufacturing plant in Laurel, Mississippi. In 1931, it opened a meat packing house in Jackson, Mississippi, to sell fresh and frozen pork, beef and Allied products. All grain operations moved to Vicksburg for better access to Mississippi River barges in 1950.
In 1982, the course was set to convert The Merchants Company to the modern food distribution company and restaurant supplier it is today. The grain elevators were sold, and the seven distribution centers were consolidated into two expanded facilities.
Today our fleet of multi-temp food distribution trucks supplies fresh and prepackaged goods to nine states from four modernized warehouse facilities in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Specialized data processing software allows our team to respond to customers more quickly and accurately than ever before.
Merchants Foodservice is one of 2,600 food distribution companies in the United States. Distributor Intelligence Report ranked Merchants Foodservice 13th in the nation in sales for 2014.