Food service distributor Carroll County Foods, part of the Performance Food Group, helps its customers' restaurants and organizations adapt to a challenging economy through access to thousands of product options that preserve quality and value. Barbara Kram reports on the mid-Atlantic regional supplier.
Carroll County Foods has managed to achieve double digit growth over the past year. Its success stems from its breadth and depth of brands to help customers adapt their menus with cost-effective, quality name brands as well as exclusive brands. In its distribution warehouses, the company carries somewhere between 5,000 to 12,000 items in inventory.
The company serves principally the Mid-Atlantic region in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area, including northern Virginia. It distributes meats, produce, condiments, baked goods, and nonfood supplies to restaurants, hotels, health care facilities, schools and other customers. The company’s top brands include West Creek Produce and other product lines, First Mark for non-foods, Roma, and other exclusive brands; as well as national brands, which comprise about 25 percent of business.
“We are a middleman. As a distributor we don’t make anything. Just as we try to have our customers consider us their preferred distributor, we also have preferred vendors that we buy from with marketing agreements to grow their lines,” Mattingly explained. The economies are clear as different distributors forge specialized agreements to drive down costs.
“Everybody in the distribution business has the big name pies but some might be stronger with a certain brand if they are a preferred vendor. So our brands are packed for us by the manufacturers that we buy from. If I brand my turkey breast as West Creek from a turkey supplier, I am branding it to my specs and what I want out of that line.”
The combination of thousands of items with a focus on certain exclusive brand offerings gives customers tremendous flexibility in defining their menus.
“We provide a fresh lead with our brands and then support the national brands because everyone will buy the name brand ketchup, mayonnaise, and bakery goods from big national companies,” he said.