Wakefern Food Corp. Set To Unveil New Elizabeth Warehouse

Wakefern Food Corp. announces that it will celebrate the opening of its newest warehouse facility in Elizabeth, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Thursday, April 17 at 12:30 PM. Scheduled to attend are Wakefern Chairman and CEO Joseph Colalillo, Wakefern President and COO Joe Sheridan, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, Senator Ray Lesniak, Elberon Development Co’s Chairman and CEO Anne Evans Estabrook and President Dave Gibbons.

This 524,000-square-foot facility replaces the former Wakefern grocery warehouse at the same site and increases storage capabilities by more than 58 percent to better distribute non-perishable food products to ShopRite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer stores across NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE, MD, MA , RI and VA. In addition to the expanded square footage, this new building will feature 36-foot high ceilings, increasing the storage space significantly. With a current total of 345 associates, the facility will bring a projected 150 additional permanent jobs to the city over a ten year period.

In June 2011, Wakefern transitioned its non-perishable operations to a temporary facility in Carteret, to allow for the demolition and subsequent re-construction of its original grocery warehouse in Elizabeth, which was built in the late 1950s. This new location was completed in November 2013 and was fully operational by February of this year.

“On behalf of the State of New Jersey, I am proud to open Wakefern’s upgraded and expanded grocery warehouse in Elizabeth,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Wakefern’s decision to develop in the Garden State proves that the pro-growth policies enacted by the Christie Administration are making New Jersey a great place to do business. As advocates for economic development, we are pleased Wakefern and Elberon chose to build and grow in our state and we are fully committed to helping them succeed in New Jersey.”

“The City of Elizabeth continuously strives to grow our economy and create opportunities that generate jobs, as well as increase options within our municipality,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “Working together with dedicated partners such as Wakefern Food Corp. and Elberon Development Co. LLC, we are providing assistance and delivering the services that residents want and deserve. This wonderful expansion is a great addition to the Elizabeth business community.”

“Wakefern’s strength comes from its core focus of ‘families serving families,’” said Wakefern Chairman and CEO Joseph Colalillo. “This personal connection to our business makes a partnership with Elberon and the Evans family – more than fifty years in the making – a natural extension of our commitment to our customers, our stores and the communities we serve. We are also thankful to Mayor Bollwage and the city of Elizabeth for continuing to welcome us as a member of their community and we are pleased to mark our return to our Elizabeth roots with the opening of this new facility.”

Since it was founded in 1946, Wakefern has become the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S. Employing an innovative approach to wholesale business services, Wakefern focuses on helping independent retailers compete in a big business world. Providing the tools entrepreneurs need to stay a step ahead of the competition, Wakefern’s wholesale client base benefits from the company’s extensive portfolio of services, including innovative technology, private label development, and best in-class procurement practices. Headquartered in Keasbey, New Jersey, Wakefern operates more than 2.5 million square feet of grocery and non-food warehousing.

“Our family business has been building in Elizabeth for over fifty years,” said Anne Evans Estabrook, Chairman and CEO of Elberon Development Co., LLC. “We own approximately 2 million square feet in Elizabeth and we continue to be committed to the City and to the larger Union County community. We thank the Mayor, the Union County Board of Freeholders, the Elizabeth Development Co., and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for its support of this Wakefern Project and for their ongoing support of Elberon. Finally, we thank Wakefern, another family business through its ShopRite owners, for enthusiastically supporting the continuance of a landlord-tenant relationship that has existed for over fifty years.”

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