Ben E Keith

FORT WORTH, Texas – Ben E. Keith Foods, the nation's eighth-largest broad line foodservice distributor, will purchase Elba, Alabama-based Kelley Foods of Alabama, including its distribution center and manufacturing division, which produces sausages, hams and other custom products. The deal is expected to close on Sept. 30.

"The acquisition of Kelley Foods of Alabama allows Ben E. Keith Foods to continue its expansion into the Southeast, serving new and existing customers, and providing additional opportunity for our employees and partners," said Mike Sweet, president of Ben E. Keith Foods. "Our organizations share many core values including similar visions and missions, a deep commitment to our employees and an unwavering focus on serving our customers. We are excited to welcome all Kelley Foods employees into our organization and know we will achieve great success together."

Kelley Foods was founded in 1957 and is owned and operated by the Kelley family. Ben E. Keith Foods will retain all current Kelley Foods employees. President and CEO Eddie Kelley and vice president of distribution Jerry Kelley will serve as advisors to Ben E. Keith Foods during the transition. Current vice president of Manufacturing, Scott Kelley, will continue to manage the manufacturing division, and Scott Davison of Ben E. Keith Foods will be general manager of the distribution division.

"As family owned businesses, both Kelley Foods and Ben E. Keith Foods strive to be trusted advisors and provide unmatched service to our customers, to treat our team members with dignity and respect and to partner with vendors who support us and our customers. The Kelley Family is honored to be a part of the strategic expansion of the Ben E. Keith Foods service area," Kelley said.

The distribution division will be renamed Ben E. Keith Foods – Southeast Division. Manufacturing operations will stay under the Kelley Foods brand and will now be referred to as Kelley Foods, a division of Ben E. Keith Foods.