KeHE announced today the launch of a new West Ellettsville, Indiana, distribution center, which will help the company better service the unique needs of natural retailers in the Midwest.
KeHE's network of 16 national distribution centers provides natural, organic, fresh and specialty products to natural food stores, grocery stores and other specialty retailers throughout North America.
"Essential workers—like our retail customers—have worked tirelessly to keep food on the table of their communities this year during these unprecedented times," said Chris Sieburg, executive vice president of warehouse operations at KeHE.
"We are extremely proud to enhance our operations for natural retailers throughout the Midwest to ensure they have the products and support they need to weather this storm. This new facility will expand our product assortment and inventory, improve delivery times and increase speed-to-shelf of new items—all incredibly important to the success of our customers."
"This year has been full of unique and unforeseen challenges. When the pandemic hoarding began, our store was wiped out seemingly in minutes," said Jennifer Radtke, grocery buyer and assistant manager at Health Hut Mukwonago. "In the first few weeks of March, I realized that how I purchase for the store was going to present challenges in not only the ordering process, but present challenges in receiving product. KeHE has been key to our success both during the last eight months and as part of our daily operations for many years."
Over 225 employees are currently working in KeHE's southern Indiana distribution center, which features 80,195 square feet of dedicated freezer space and 61,000 square feet of refrigerated cooler space, including a 32,350-square-foot refrigerated dock to keep perishable items cool and fresh during the loading process.
Ken El-Talabani, chief operations officer at Sunrise Health Foods stated, "We appreciate the outstanding customer service that each one of the [KeHE] employees provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturers' out-of-stocks have a massive effect on our stores. The KeHE team was hands-on in our day-to-day operations finding [comparable] products to fill our shelves. Choosing KeHE as our distributor years ago has been a winning experience for our stores and customers."
As part of KeHE's ongoing environmental commitment that aims to better the planet and the lives of the people the distributor works with, this new distribution center is complete with energy-efficient LED lighting, an Alta cooler and freezer system and energy monitoring systems. Additionally, KeHE recycles plastic and closely monitors waste to reduce the impact of its nationwide supply chain for generations to come.