Ben E. Keith’s New Award-Winning Foodservice Distribution Center

Ben E. Keith Selma, Texas Food Distribution Center

Photo by Erick Richter /

With more than a century-long legacy in the food and beverage distribution industry, Ben E. Keith is known as the leader in delivering premium, high-quality products. Headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, the company’s food division services more than a dozen states; the beverage business delivers fine wine and beer, including Anheuser-Busch InBev products, to over 62 counties in Texas.

When the company decided to build a new greenfield foodservice distribution center in Selma, Texas to better serve its customers located in the southern United States, Ben E. Keith partnered with ESI Group USA, Hartland, WI. The result is an award-winning, 595,895 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility consisting of a 129,938 square foot freezer, perishable storage areas of 85,272 square feet with the capability to accommodate multiple temperatures, a refrigerated dock, a dry storage area as well as a 45,000 square foot two-story office. Additionally, a modern test kitchen and training area were also built into the location.

To achieve the most efficient order fulfilling as possible, an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) was installed to facilitate automatic placement and retrieval of slow-moving SKUs located in the freezer and dry storage areas. To help improve durability, the industrial floors are composed of shrinkage-compensating concrete topped with trap rock. Also, to optimize the warehouse’s climate conditions, insulated metal panels were installed.

Because Ben E. Keith values taking part in corporate social responsibility efforts and being a good environmental steward, the new facility is on the path to earning its LEED-Silver certification. Some of the environmentally friendly building specifications featured in the distribution center are energy-efficient LED lighting as well as an HVAC system using a variable refrigerant flow system equipped with heat recovery. For freezing and cooling, a central ammonia refrigeration system with numerous energy-saving features is used throughout the building.

The innovative new facility was constructed in an 18-month time period and has since been recognized as being one of the most impressive and distinct construction projects of the year. ESI was presented the Projects of Distinction Award by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin for the distribution center.

Ben E. Keith is ready for growth as this facility is capable of expanding by another 300,000 square feet. The bigger footprint will help the company continue to provide its partners excellent customer service as well as further the growth and success of Ben E. Keith employees.


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