-- McLane Co. Inc. has opened a new grocery distribution center in Ocala, Fla.
The 400,000-square-foot facility will house 165,000 square feet of dry grocery, nearly 200,000 square feet of perishables and 35,000 square feet of office and support space. The first shipment arrived Feb. 4, and deliveries will begin March 17.
This location will be McLane’s sixth distribution center in Florida, joining a grocery center in Kissimmee and foodservice centers in Lakeland, Haines City and Orlando, which has two. It will service the expanding customer base in the north Florida region.
Construction Management Technology (CMT), the general contractor for the project, oversaw the renovations and development. The Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership, the County Commission and Ocala City Council were instrumental to the venture as well, McLane said.
Michelle Chesnutt and Jerry Winterhalter are leading the operation with a combined 70 years of experience at McLane. Both have held numerous positions within the company. Chesnutt recently transitioned from division president at McLane Dothan in Cottonwood, Ala., while Winterhalter was vice president of distribution for McLane Sunwest in Goodyear, Ariz.
“We are thrilled to open our new facility in Ocala, where the business community is welcoming and open to growth,” said Chesnutt, division president of McLane Ocala. “The values and work ethic of the prospective workforce is an ideal fit with McLane’s culture. McLane Ocala continues our company’s core initiative to drive customer results.”
The new distribution center will create more than 400 new jobs in Marion County, Fla. By the end of the year, McLane Ocala plans to hire 316 warehouse and support teammates and 120 drivers and transportation support teammates. Driver hiring began in October 2018 in an effort to allow drivers to become acclimated with McLane’s customers and the delivery process in general. The recruiting team held a three-day job fair in January at the facility and interviewed nearly 600 candidates, resulting in 233 job offers.
Temple, Texas-based McLane is a $48 billion company providing grocery and foodservice supply-chain services for convenience stores, mass merchants, drugstores and chain restaurants in the United States. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 consumer products to nearly 110,000 U.S. locations. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha, Neb.