Posted: Jul. 2, 2014 12:57 pm Updated: Jul. 16, 2014 1:15 pm
MOUNT STERLING, Ill. — Working with a family-owned company was an important consideration for the owners of Dot Foods when it came to the creation a partnership with a Mexican business.
Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in the United States, is launching the formation of a joint venture with RJ Alimentos, a food distribution company operated by the Ricardo Garza family in Mexico. The new company will be named RD Amerimex and should be taking orders by the end of July.
Dot Foods CEO John Tracy said Mexico is the first international expansion for Dot.
“When Ricardo approached us several years ago about expanding the redistribution concept into Mexico, we quickly realized it was an opportunity we needed to explore,” Tracy said. “There are several areas outside of the U.S. where we believe the redistribution concept will work.”
Dot Foods was launched by the late Robert Tracy and his wife, Dorothy, in 1960, and it is now is operated by Tracy’s children. Dot employs 2,230 people at its Mount Sterling distribution center, has more than 4,200 employees nationwide and annual sales exceeding $5 billion. Forbes magazine ranked Dot Foods No. 85 on its list of America’s largest private companies this year.
John Tracy said working with another family-owned company was important for the RD Amerimex project.
“We needed a trusted partner in Mexico, and having worked with the (Garza) family in the past, we knew they had the right culture and business approach to be able to work together,” John Tracy said.
He added that the Tracy family was impressed with the way the Garzas worked together “and the personal family touch they provide to all their businesses.”
The expansion will mean 12 new drivers and 25 warehouse personnel at Mount Sterling’s distribution center, one of nine centers in the nation.
“On the local level, our employees are ready for this challenge,” Dot Foods President Joe Tracy said. “We’re excited about the increased demand and the potential new opportunities for growth that this expansion will bring to Dot Foods and the Mount Sterling distribution center.”
Mexico has more than 17,000 hotels and 428,000 restaurants nationwide, including numerous American franchise restaurants. Dot officials said they have spent a lot of time trying to understand the distribution channels and cultural differences in Mexico. That made the Garza family company a good fit for the new venture.
RD Amerimex will bring redistribution to a complex distribution network in Mexico. Much like Dot Foods’ U.S. customers, RD Amerimex customers can order multiple product lines on one shipment without having to meet manufacturers’ minimums.
RD Amerimex products will be redistributed from its warehouse in Monterrey to distributors all across Mexico through temperature-controlled trucks. Customers will have access to most of Dot Foods’ 105,000-product offering. RD Amerimex will begin taking customers orders this month.
The concept used by Dot Foods and access to products from the United States will be important to the new company.
“Many distributors in Mexico have recognized increased demand for American food-service products,” Garza said in a news release. “We can provide a viable solution for distributors looking to get consistent, quality products their customers want and in the quantities they need them.”
Dot Foods International Sales Manager Jeff Adams said the new venture also will create opportunities for American manufacturers who want to expand into Mexican markets.