Ben E. Keith, a distributor of food service products, will invest $60 million to build a new 300,000 square foot Mid-South Regional Headquarters in North Little Rock, Arkansas. As part of its expansion, the company will add 74 new jobs and retain its current 260 member workforce.
“We are delighted in the progress of our plans to construct this new state-of-the-art distribution center in North Little Rock,” said Mike Roach, President of Ben E. Keith Foods. “We are excited about enlarging our base of operations in Arkansas, and this new center will allow us to greatly expand our product line and better serve our thousands of valued clients in this market.”
The expansion is made possible through a $1.5 million grant through the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration. “The Obama Administration is committed to supporting business infrastructure for economic growth and job creation,” said Matt Erskine, EDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce. “This EDA investment will help to revitalize a portion of North Little Rock that has gone underdeveloped for years by providing the energy capacity needed to support local businesses and to attract new businesses and jobs to the area.” In addition to its North Little Rock facility, the company also has a facility at the Port of Little Rock that will be consolidated within the expansion.
“For more than 40 years, Arkansans have helped Ben E. Keith become a major player in the food service industry,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “Through this expansion, Ben E. Keith will build both a larger workforce and a larger home in Central Arkansas, ensuring that our region will continue serving its customers for many years to come.”
"We believe our successful efforts resulting in the retention and expansion of the Ben E. Keith Regional Headquarters were due in large part to three factors: a great site with superior transportation advantages; a cooperative company with a fantastic workforce; and, collaborative and innovative federal, state and city governments,” said North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith. “All of us look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with this great corporate citizen."