Shelves waiting to be filled at the Dot Foods Delaware distribution center

Shelves waiting to be filled at the Dot Foods Delaware distribution center

The pathway for some of your favorite grocery store products to reach the shelves is about to take a more local detour.

Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in North America, officially opened their twelfth United States distribution center in the southern area of Bear.

The $37 million, 188,000 sq. ft. facility is located along Route 72, midway between Route 1 and Red Lion Road (Route 71), and is separated into three sections: standard temperature (generally current air temperature), refrigerated (about 38 degrees), and frozen (about -5 degrees).

Dot's goal is to become a place where manufacturers can immediately sell their products, saving them storage fees, while they then distribute to more local distributors who put their products onto store shelves.

Joe Little, General Manager for Dot Foods Delaware, said many of the names will be familiar.

“They’re the same things that all of us see when we go to the grocery store on the retail side--Campbell’s, Pillsbury, Tyson, you name it, we carry it here.”

They’re even working on getting a Class 1 Narcotics license so they can handle over-the-counter medications like Sudafed.

Northern Delaware will become the third northeast site for Dot, joining Williamsport, New York near Syracuse, and Williamsport, Maryland outside of Hagerstown.

“Logistically, it’s in a great location, Little said. "The East Coast has been a growing market for us, and this allows us to gain some capacity to the existing locations we already had. It also allows us to tap into an exciting labor force and talent pool.”

Little also praised Delaware’s pro-business stance for helping push them into the First State.

“The state of Delaware has been very aggressive in working and partnering with us, helping us take care of all of the challenges from planning to building to executing. Transportation is the backbone; it’s how we move products. Proximity to those links are very important to us.”

Dot Foods was started in 1960 by Robert and Dorothy Tracy in Mount Sterling, Illinois. They claim they’ve never had a layoff, and that sales hit $8.1 billion in 2019, making them #67 on Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies.

They expect their Bear-area site to serve eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern New York, and Connecticut.

Dot has already hired 88 workers, truck drivers, warehouse personnel, and others, and expects to employ 125 by the end of the year. They’re aiming for increasing that count to 200 by 2022.

There will be an open house for the facility on Saturday, February 29, 2 020, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dot's official address is 301 American Boulevard, a new road created for the facility, just north/west of Wilbur Elementary School.