Lancaster foods emphasizes organics and fresh cut
Lancaster Foods has been a staple in the Baltimore area for decades, operating out of a 220,000-square-foot state-of-the-art distribution and processing center in Jessup, MA, employing more than 700 employees.
“Lancaster Foods was started in 1986 by myself and my brother,” said John Gates, co-founder and president of the company. “We have enjoyed steady growth since inception, but particularly over the last few years.”
The company distributes its produce from Maine to Florida and offers a variety of products through a wide array of initiatives. With approximately 80 percent of the company’s business being retail, Lancaster has developed excellent partnerships in the Baltimore area.
“There are some excellent retailers in the area,” Gates said. “It is a dynamic and changing marketplace in the Baltimore/Washington DC area. It’s a good environment, business is good, the local economy is typically pretty stable. I think we’re in a very good geographic place for what we do.”
He cites numerous reasons why working in the region is good for the company, starting with its affluent and diverse communities, as well as being situated in an area where overnight, it can reach into Georgia or Maine.
“Logistically, we’re kind of right in the center of the population,” Gates said.
The biggest buzz around Lancaster Foods is that it continues to grow geographically and has increased efforts to emphasize organically grown and fresh cut.
“We continue to leverage those skills, and are planning on growing in those areas,” Gates said. “Organic is increasingly important to us and our customers.”
One of the keys to the success of Lancaster Foods is its dedicated team of professionals — many of whom have over 20 years of experience with the company. Some recent promotions include Warren Hobbs to director of sales and Ben Chroniger to vice president of finance.
“We have an experienced team and my brother Dave remains vice president of procurement,” Gates said. “We leverage technology and logistics to service our customers and provide excellent service, and we have a very stringent quality-control process.”
Photo: Lancaster Foods services its customers through a 220,000 square-foot cold storage warehouse in Jessup, MD.