Gordon Food Service (GFS) has its roots in the turn of the 20th century when Isaac Van Westenbrugge, a 23-year-old Dutch immigrant, started a business delivering dairy products to grocers in Michigan.
In 1916 Ben Gordon began to work at the company. He went on to marry Isaac’s daughter Ruth in 1921. He became president of GFS in 1946.
By the 1960’s the company was redefining its business as a food service distributor with product lines consisting mostly of frozen foods, grocery, and disposable items.
By 1974 GFS had 4,000 steady customers including restaurants, hotels, and schools in western Michigan and $36 million in sales.
By 1990 the company was offering 10,000 products to its 10,000 customers.
Today GFS has 20 distribution centers across the U.S. and Canada. The company distributes food items, ingredients, and beverages to restaurants, schools, healthcare facilities, and institutional food service operators in 15 states and across Canada. GFS also operates 155 wholesale stores under the GFS Marketplace banner.
GFS is #39 on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies, has 13,000 employees, and had $8.6 billion in revenue in 2012.