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    KeHE Opens Portland, Ore., Facility

    Latest DC key to West Coast expansion

    KeHE Distributors LLC opened its newest distribution center, in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 23. The LEED-certified facility “is an important addition to the [our] expansion strategy and key to [our] growth plan in the Northwest region,” noted the Naperville, Ill.-based company. The DC offers more than 100,000 square feet of refrigerated and 57,000 square feet of freezer space.

    “Sustainability is a top priority of ours as we build, stock and operate our facilities,” said KeHE COO Gene Carter. “We are designing our new facilities from the ground up, which allows us to focus on the environment and our people as well.”

    An estimated 100 tons of cardboard will be recycled annually at the Portland center and 30-plus tons of petroleum are expected to be saved by recycling plastic. Additionally, the entire facility will employ motion-operated LED lighting.

    The new facility “strategically aligns with our long-term growth strategy and demonstrates our commitment to our increased customer base on the West Coast,” said KeHE Chief Commercial Officer Mike Leone. “Our customers continue to receive the benefits of our growing, national organization.”

    Those benefits include improved service levels and fill rates, with more efficient shipping and points of distribution, according to KeHE. The company’s newer, greener DCs are larger and carry a broader assortment of products.

    The company currently operates four DCs west of the Rockies, a KeHE spokesman told PG.

    KeHE provides natural and organic, specialty and gourmet, international and multicultural, and fresh products to natural food stores, chain grocery stores, independent grocery stores and other specialty product retailers across North America. The employee-owned company has more than 4,500 employees in the United States and Canada.

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