( Courtesy The Coastal Cos. )

The Coastal Cos., Laurel, Md., has acquired Lancaster Foods, a Jessup, Md.-based retail produce distributor and fresh-cut processor.

Lancaster Foods had been a part of Guest Services Inc. Lancaster Produce’s 220,000-square-foot facility processes value-added fresh-cut offerings and private-label packaging, distributing produce from Maine to Florida with a fleet of 100 trucks, according to its website.

The addition enhances The Coastal Cos.’ retail presence and expands Lancaster’s offerings to include grab-and-go, ready-to-eat and prepared foods, according to a news release from The Coastal Cos.

“It creates a network of vendors and portfolio of products and services unmatched in our market — creating even more value for our customers,” John Corso, CEO of The Coastal Cos., said in an e-mail.

Lancaster Foods joins The Coastal Cos.’ other companies:

  • Coastal Sunbelt Produce, Laurel, Md., a foodservice distributor that services customers from New Jersey to Virginia;
  • East Coast Fresh, Laurel, Md., which shares a 330,000-square-foot facility with Coastal Sunbelt Produce, and offers fresh-cut items ranging from snacks to vegetable noodles for foodservice and retail customers; and
  • Hearn Kirkwood, Jessup, a Pro*Act member that offers meat, seafood and produce items, including fresh-cut produce items, salads, snacks, wraps and sandwiches.

Lancaster Foods will continue to operate under that name in the same facility. John Gates, president of Lancaster Foods, and the executive team will continue at the company, and Gates joins The Coastal Co.’s board of directors and executive leadership team.

“Together, our network of vendors and our portfolio of products and services will enable us to provide even greater value to our customers,” Gates said in the release.

Coastal Cos. now has four facilities with more than 650,000 square feet, including cold storage and processing, with a coverage area from Maine to Florida, according to the news release.

Overlapping retail and wholesale customer relationships will be “harmonized” this year, while foodservice relationships will not be affected, according to the release.

“The company has grown because we take care of our customers, we take care of our people, and we invest in our business,” said Corso. “Lancaster Foods is a great strategic and cultural fit with The Coastal Companies. We look forward to partnering with John Gates and his team.”

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