UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill.— Dot Foods, Inc., the nation's largest food industry redistributor, and its trucking affiliate Dot Transportation, Inc. continue to expand its Chicago distribution center located in the University Park Industrial Park (251 Central Avenue, University Park, IL, 60484).
On Wednesday, June 7, Dot Foods Chicago broke ground on a new 100,000 square-foot warehouse expansion, new parking for Dot Transportations's trucking operations, and a new on-site family health center for employees. The company also held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the distribution center's $1.8 million breakroom expansion and announced Justin Marchant as the new Chicago General Manager.
"Our University Park distribution center plays a central and strategic role for our business," said George Eversman, Dot Foods President. "The Chicagoland area provides exceptional access to many of our manufacturer partners and customers and offers a great pool of talented people. Geographically, Chicago is in a prime position to support several of our other distribution centers. The decision to invest in the growth of our operations here was an easy one."
The Chicago distribution center opened in 2017 as volume growth across the Midwest drove Dot's need for more regional warehouse capacity. Since opening, the facility has increased its workforce from 150 employees to nearly 350, including warehouse employees, truck drivers, and an administrative team.
Dot Foods is adding approximately 100,000 square feet of traditional warehouse space to its existing facility to support volume growth and expand its capacity even further. This includes greatly increased dry, frozen, and refrigerated warehouse storage space.
"The warehouse expansion and our planned growth will require us to grow our team by another 40-50 people in the next year," said Marchant, Dot Foods Chicago's new General Manager. Before being named to his new role, Marchant served as Assistant General Manager at the facility, following several years on the company's sales team and supporting the warehouse operation at Dot Food's headquarters in Mt. Sterling, Illinois.
The new warehouse expansion will take over part of the area Dot Transporation currently uses for parking, so the company is adding more parking elsewhere on the campus. Another exciting addition to the Chicago facility will be a 1,500-square-foot family health center for employees located right on campus. Dot Foods is converting a section of its existing office space into the family health center. The new health center will give University Park employees convenient access to high-quality, low-cost healthcare. Dot Foods is one of only a few mid-sized companies in the region to provide its employees with an on-site healthcare option as part of their benefits package. The Family Health Center will serve approximately 750 people, which includes Dot Foods employees, their spouses, and dependent children who are enrolled in Dot's medical insurance program.
Marathon Health will operate the Dot Foods Chicago Family Health Center, which will have exam rooms, a lab, and office space. The health center will offer various healthcare services, including preventive screenings, condition management, and education for patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and more. Employees can use the facility as their primary care provider and for annual physicals, wellness screenings, CDL certification, lab work, vaccines, and more. Generic prescriptions will also be available to employees at little or no cost.
Dot Foods also just completed construction on a 2,451-square-foot breakroom expansion and renovation at the Chicago distribution center. The new breakroom for employees features upgraded furniture, expanded locker rooms, and shower facilities for employees. The larger space also now includes new leisure activities like ping pong, billiards, and big-screen TVs. Traditional vending machines were also swapped out for the company's new market vending system.
"We're committed to making sure we're providing our employees a comfortable workplace and offering the amenities they're looking for," noted Marchant. "A lot of companies are hiring in our area, and while we pride ourselves on offering competitive wages and excellent benefits, we also put a lot of focus on creating an environment and a culture that sets us apart from other employers."
In June 2022, Dot Foods Chicago celebrated its fifth anniversary. Over the years, the company invested in the University Park distribution facility to support its growing business. Soon after its opening, Dot expanded the facility and added a gate station, garage, fuel station, and scale to accommodate its trucking operations and make this location a full distribution center. In 2022, they completed a 15,600-square-foot cross-dock expansion and enlarged its parking lot for the growing fleet.
In addition to investing in their employees and facilities, Dot Foods has a longstanding mission of giving back to local communities. Over the past six years, the Chicago distribution center has donated more than $1.2 million to area organizations, including local food pantries, schools, and health and welfare programs. The Chicago distribution center team members are equally as giving as they consistently contribute to the company's annual corporate giving campaigns for the United Way and Alzheimer's Association.
Dot Foods and Dot Transportation in University Park continue to have full-time and part-time career opportunities available in all departments, including warehouse, administrative, and trucking. To learn more about careers at Dot Foods, visit Careers.DotFoods.com and follow @DotFoodsCareers. For more information about opportunities available with Dot Transportation, visit DriveForDTI.com.
About Dot Foods and Dot Transportation
Dot Foods, Inc. carries 125,000 products from 1,020 food industry manufacturers making it the largest food industry redistributor in North America. Through Dot Transportation, Inc., an affiliate of Dot Foods, the company distributes foodservice, convenience, retail, and vending products to distributors in all 50 states and more than 55 countries. Dot Foods operates 12 U. S. distribution centers, which are located in Bullhead City, Arizona; Modesto, California; Bear, Delaware; Vidalia, Georgia; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Illinois; University Park, Illinois; Cambridge City, Indiana; Williamsport, Maryland; Liverpool, New York; Ardmore, Oklahoma; and Dyersburg, Tennessee. Dot's 13th U.S. location will be located in Manchester, Tennessee. Dot Foods' Canadian operations are located in Toronto, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta. A new Dot Foods Canada distribution center is currently under construction in Ingersoll, Canada. For information, visit DotFoods.com.