30th Anniversary

Since its inception 30 years ago, ESI Group has maintained an experienced staff of over 70 professionals who helped complete nearly 425+ projects for food industry leaders like Aurora Packing Co, Ben E. Keith, Cargill, Kerry, Land O’Frost, Nestle USA, Performance Food Group, Patrick Cudahy, Sargento, Sysco, The Bama Cos, US Foods, United Natural Foods (UNFI) and WinCo Foods, among others.

A Brief History of ESI Group:



ESI Group founded as Environmental Structures.  A specialty Design-Build firm for food distribution, processing, and automated facilities.

Became incorporated


Became incorporated. A team of seasoned veterans Brad Barke, Jeff Bertelson, John Dohogne and Terry Fredericksen with low temperature backgrounds joined as partners.



A corporate location is established.  An 8-acre parcel in Hartland, Wisconsin surrounded by woods in the northwestern corner of Waukesha County that locals commonly refer to as “Lake Country.”  Lake recreation is a way of life here while land-lubbers enjoy activities from hiking to golfing.

ESI Logos_1995


Setting strategic alliance partnerships.  ESI partners with both regional and national food industry leaders and obtains licensing in 48 states.



Begins Ten Consecutive Years of Awards.  ESI continuously achieves Projects of Distinction Awards from ABC as well as numerous Safety related awards.  In 2017, a Greenfield Kitchen Commissary project design and constructed for Caito Foods (SpartanNash) received the Manufacturing Innovator of the Year award from ProFood World Magazine.

WinCo Foods Distribution Center


ESI Group completes its largest project to date.  This 902,000 square foot food distribution center was designed and constructed in just 14 months!  Click the link to learn more about how this massive project was successfully completed on time and within budget for WinCo Foods.



ESI Celebrates 30 Years

When ESI turned a quarter century in 2016, Jeff Bertelson and Terry Fredericksen retired.  Brad and John will carry on the legacy they helped build by using the latest technologies available for the design and construction industry, investing in employees who want to broaden their industry knowledge, and most importantly continue providing a high level of service to our clients.

“We want to make sure when a client has another project, we’re the company they want back,” says Barke


“I view our longevity as an advantage to our clients because there isn’t much in the industry we haven’t seen. We are also very fortunate to have highly educated personnel who are passionate about their work.” – Brad Barke, President

Top 10 Keys to Long-Term Success:

1) Provide single-source solution for all design-build needs

2) Employ and retain knowledgeable field and office staff

3) Design for today’s needs and tomorrow’s growth

4) Deliver on promises

5) Utilize innovative methodologies and practices

6) Act as an extension of the client

7) Obtain award-winning industry experience

8) Be environmentally and sustainably sound

9) Continually engage people

10) Diversify client base

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