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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Regional wholesaler Associated Food Stores, Inc. yesterday agreed to buy Hispanic food distributor Gonzales & Sons, LLC including its existing inventory, warehouse equipment, and delivery fleet, in a bid to grow its Hispanic business and that business within its retail accounts.
"By combining the expertise of the Gonzales family with Associated's financial strength and distribution network, our goal is to become the premier supplier of goods and services in the Intermountain region," said Rich Parkinson, president and c.e.o. of Associated. "The new company will operate independently from the parent Associated Food Stores, Inc., in order to address the unique needs of this business channel."
Parkinson said Associated would keep the existing management of the family-owned distributor in place. "David Gonzales Sr. has built an organization that truly knows its customers' needs," said Parkinson. "Our goal is to keep the expertise of in continuing to support the Hispanic/Latino businesses and communities served by this great company."
The transaction closed Friday, January 5. The new wholly-owned subsidiary will be named Gonzales & Sons, Inc., a Utah corporation. Associated said those businesses currently serviced by Gonzales & Sons, LLC will continue to receive uninterrupted service from Gonzales' current location.
"Associated will use this new partnership to grow business opportunities in not only companies currently served by Gonzales, but also expanding product availability to the Hispanic/Latino communities through member store supermarkets of Associated Food Stores," said Jerry Dewey, v.p. at Associated.
Eliseo Faz, former director of Hispanic marketing for Associated, has been appointed to act as the v.p. and g.m. of Gonzales & Sons, Inc. Faz earned his master of business degree in Colorado and served as a member of the National Hispanic MBA Association. This past year, Faz graduated from the prestigious postgraduate Food Industry Management Course at the University of Southern California. He and his wife Jenny and their two children have recently relocated to Draper, Utah.
Associated Food Stores member retailers may continue, until further notice, to receive their Hispanic product needs from Kehe Food Distributors. During the coming months, additional products will be made available to existing member stores from Gonzales & Sons, Inc.
Associated Food Stores is an independent retailer-owned wholesaler that provides complete warehouse facilities and services to more than 500 grocers throughout eight Western states.