Denver Wholesale Foods begins $2 million expansion

By on March 21, 2012

By: STEVE CZETLI Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Those passing by the front of the Denver Wholesale Foods building on Mohler Church Road in Ephrata can see that construction is in full swing for the $2 million expansion project. The architect's rendering of the plans can be seen on page A10. (Photo by Steve Czetli)

Denver Wholesale Foods, a division of Denver Cold Storage, the major regional supplier to discount food stores in the region such as Sharp Shopper, expects to complete a $2 million renovation to its Ephrata facility by June.

The expansion will speed delivery of product to its customers and expand its product line, according to Mose Stoltfus, owner of Cold Storage and a partner in Wholesale Foods.

The primary change will be in capacity, variety of products available and faster delivery times, said Stoltfus, who credited the expansion to company growth. Five or six employees will be hired to staff the larger facility.

"We will be looking for lift truck operators, a supervisor and order pickers," Stoltfus said.

Both companies currently handle frozen foods, cold foods and dry goods which require no refrigeration. Rather than buy through Denver Cold Storage, retail outlets will be able to buy directly through Denver Wholesale Foods. That could cut delivery time to a single day in some cases, Stoltfus said. As for capacity, the renovation will provide Wholesale Foods with 48,000 square feet for dry goods, 8,000 to 10,000 square feet for cold items such as meat and yogurts and 27,000 square feet for frozen foods.

Stoltfus’s companies buy deeply discounted products from overstocks, bankruptcies, liquidations and products nearing their expiration dates which allows them to sell to discount stores at reduced rates. Discount stores then pass these savings onto their customers.

A third company, Denver Logistics, also a division of Denver Cold Storage, enables rapid delivery of products to retail outlets, shaving weeks or sometimes more off the time required for major national chains to get their products into stores.

"We buy whatever is available — liquidations, bankruptcies, overstocks and close to code products — because we can move them out into the secondary stores before the expiration dates," said Stoltfus. ‘We have a very good system where we can get the product in and move it out very quickly to the stores and it’s gone — where the big conglomerates have to give it so many weeks shelf life in the stores and then they have to allow so much time in the distribution warehouses."

Stoltfus said his business was growing prior to the current economic downturn, but credits growing consumer anxiety and high unemployment for accelerated growth. He started Denver Cold Storage in 1985 and then launched Denver Wholesale Foods in 2006 with three partners.

About Ephrata Review