2016 Supplier of the Year

Merchants Foodservice Honors Business Partners at Reception, Golf Classic

Merchants Foodservice, a broadline distributor serving 12 Southeastern states, recognized 2016 Suppliers of the Year during an awards banquet and appreciation reception on October 24 at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

More than 200 representatives from the company’s community of business partners attended the annual event. Guests were welcomed by Andy Mercier, Merchants president and CEO, who thanked the group and also gave a brief update on the company’s recent growth.

“It takes a dedicated group of very supportive and reliable business partners to ensure the success of a foodservice distributor,” said Mercier.

The supplier awards were presented by Tim Hanberry, vice president of marketing, and Tom West, vice president of purchasing. Suppliers of the Year are recognized for their contributions to their product category and are selected on criteria including sales support, sales growth, exceptional marketing support, product innovation and service excellence.

Suppliers of the Year include Alpha Baking Company, Inc., bakery and desserts; Fabri-Kal Corporation, disposables; J.R. Simplot Company, frozen foods; Jennie-O Turkey Store, poultry; Beaver Street Fisheries, seafood; Lakeside Foods, Inc., canned foods; Ventura Foods, dry groceries; General Mills, Inc., national brands; Smithfield Foods, processed meats; PepsiCo, Inc., specialty products; Milkco, Inc., dairy products; ACH Food Companies, Inc., exclusive brands; and Alex Kontos Fruit Company, Inc., produce.

Trans-Ocean Products, Inc., was also recognized as the New Supplier of the Year.

In addition to the appreciation reception, guests were also invited to attend the 22nd annual Big M Golf Classic, which was held on October 25 at Timberton Golf Club in Hattiesburg. Funds raised from the tournament will benefit the Donald B. Suber Nutrition and Food Systems Scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The scholarship, formerly known as the Merchants Foodservice Scholarship, was recently renamed to honor Suber, who served as president and CEO from 1988-2005. It is awarded on an annual basis to a native Mississippian studying in USM’s Department of Nutrition and Food Systems.

Merchants Foodservice, headquartered in Hattiesburg, is ranked as the 12th-largest foodservice distributor in the United States. Distribution centers are located in Jackson, Mississippi; Tifton, Georgia; Newberry, South Carolina; and Clanton, Alabama. The corporate office is located in Hattiesburg, where the company was founded in 1904.