Why Gordon Food Service?

120+ years of excellence, expertise and quality.

For over 120 years, we’ve delivered the excellence, expertise, and quality products our customers need to design successful food operations and experiences. We’ve grown to become the largest family-operated broadline food distribution company in North America by upholding the same business approach since 1897—being passionately committed to the people we serve.

Mission and Cornerstone Values

Our purpose is to serve our customers with the highest quality foodservice products and services. We achieve this purpose through innovative systems and the spirit and integrity of our people.

Our Cornerstone Values are the principles that guide every interaction, and how we evaluate our performance and measure our success. 

Customer Is King

Personal and professional growth depends on teamwork. By sharing knowledge, skills, ideas, and effort, we benefit our customers, ourselves, and our communities.

Integrity

Personal and professional growth depends on teamwork. By sharing knowledge, skills, ideas, and effort, we benefit our customers, ourselves, and our communities.

Philosophy of Sharing

Personal and professional growth depends on teamwork. By sharing knowledge, skills, ideas, and effort, we benefit our customers, ourselves, and our communities.

War Room Mentality

Personal and professional growth depends on teamwork. By sharing knowledge, skills, ideas, and effort, we benefit our customers, ourselves, and our communities.

Rewards for Performance

Personal and professional growth depends on teamwork. By sharing knowledge, skills, ideas, and effort, we benefit our customers, ourselves, and our communities.

Everyone is Important

Personal and professional growth depends on teamwork. By sharing knowledge, skills, ideas, and effort, we benefit our customers, ourselves, and our communities.

Networking Organization

Personal and professional growth depends on teamwork. By sharing knowledge, skills, ideas, and effort, we benefit our customers, ourselves, and our communities.

What We Value

Stewardship

We understand that stewardship is a journey, not a destination. Our Annual Stewardship Report is a progress report - it holds us accountable and helps us strive to do more and do it better.   We focus our efforts in four areas: Sustainable Operations, Responsible Sourcing, Empowering People and Supporting Community. We’re committed to continuous improvement and responsible growth and are excited to share our progress in our 2018 Annual Stewardship Report.

Sustainable Operations

We’re committed to enhancing the sustainability of our operations. In pursuit of that goal, we work to minimize the environmental impact of our facilities and fleet, effectively utilize renewable resources and minimize operational waste.

Empowering People

We strive to foster a culture where all employees feel valued, respected and have an opportunity to contribute to the organization, while providing a safe environment that promotes healthy lifestyle choices and opportunities to learn and grow.

Responsible Sourcing

We take our role as a responsible member of the food supply chain seriously and recognize that our scale enables us to drive positive change throughout the foodservice industry. We partner with suppliers to provide products from sustainable sources and offer a wide range of products that meet our high quality and safety standards.

Supporting Community

Giving back and supporting those in need part of our culture. We support the welfare of the communities we serve and maintain a legacy of charitbable giving. We encourage our people to get involved in their communities and show their heart to serve by volunteering with organizations addressing hunger, housing and health-related community needs.

Distribution center with trucks nearby

1994 - Present. Continued growth

With new distribution centers, and strategic acquisitions, the company expands and grows, becoming the largest privately-owned, family managed foodservice distributor in North America.

US and Canadian flags near GFS headquarters

1993. Canadian expansion begins

The company begins servicing customers in Canada. Organic growth, and additional Canadian acquisitions in 1996 and 2003, would propel Gordon Food Service to become a nation-wide distributor.

Boxes being sorted on conveyor belts

1980. Automated sorting and selection system

The industry’s first automated sorting and shipping system is implemented at the 50th Street warehouse.

Side of a GFS cash and carry building from 1979

1979. First "Cash & Carry" store opens

The first "Cash & Carry" (now Gordon Food Service Store) opens in Grand Rapids as a convenience to regular delivery customers needing extra supplies.

GFS truck with two trailers

1968. Two-trailer hookup system

Gordon Food Service initiates the two-trailer hookup system, an industry innovation that enables the food distribution company to cover a wider territory by truck rather than build more distribution centers.

The Gordon family at a roundtable

1965. New generations of leadership

Paul Gordon becomes president and John Gordon is named secretary/treasurer. Their sons and grandchildren follow them into the business as the 4th and 5th generations of family leadership.

GFS leadership members

1960. Continued sales growth

Company sales reach an all-time high of $5,000,000. The Profit Sharing Plan is initiated, a cornerstone employee benefit.

People standing below GFS sign

1942. Company renamed Gordon Food Service

Issac retires, and Ben and Frank reorganize and rename the corporation Gordon Food Service.

The Gordon family standing together

1933. Ben Gordon gains partnership

Ben and Isaac join in a partnership and form The Gordon-Van Cheese Company. Ben’s brother, Frank Gordon, joins the company in 1937.

Ben Gordon by a GFS truck

1916. Ben Gordon joins the company

16-year-old Ben Gordon begins working for Issac unloading margarine, candling eggs, bookkeeping, washing windows, and sweeping floors. He later marries Isaac's daughter, Ruth.

Vintage motorized truck with packages loaded

1914. First motorized delivery truck

Van Westenbrugge’s food service company is the first in Grand Rapids to have a motorized delivery truck.

Portrait of Isaac Van Westenbrugge

1897. The beginning of Gordon Food Service

Isaac Van Westenbrugge, age 23, borrows $300 from his brother to start a butter and egg delivery business in Grand Rapids, MI.

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