Dot Foods celebrated the official grand opening of its 12th U.S. distribution center yesterday in New Castle County, Delaware. The new $37 million facility sits on 35 acres of land in Bear, about 50 miles southwest of Philadelphia.

The 188,000-square-foot facility is located at 301 American Boulevard, near the intersection of Red Lion and Wrangle Hill Roads. The development includes offices; dry, refrigerated and frozen warehouse space; and a truck yard and garage to service the Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) fleet.

"This year marks our company's 60th anniversary," said Dot Foods CEO Joe Tracy. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate than by starting the year with the opening of our 12th distribution center. We always love adding to the Dot Foods family, and we're really excited about the team we're putting together here in Delaware. This is a great day for our business."

Dot broke ground on its Delaware campus in October 2018. Since that time, the company has hired 88 people-Class A CDL truck drivers, warehouse personnel, management roles, and support staff-for the facility. Dot will hire a total of 125 within its first year of operation. That number will grow to 200 by 2022.

Dot Foods and Dot Transportation offer competitive wages and a top-tier benefit package worth $20,000 that includes health insurance, prescription drug insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, 401(k) with company match, profit sharing, and college tuition reimbursement.

Family owned and operated since 1960, Dot Foods was founded by Robert and Dorothy Tracy in Mt. Sterling, Illinois. In its 60-year history, the company has never had a layoff.

Sales hit $8.1 billion in 2019, and Dot sits at No. 67 on the Forbes List of America's Largest Private Companies.

The Bear distribution center will serve Dot's distributor customers in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. The company also has East Coast facilities in Maryland and New York.

"Dot Foods is making a real commitment to Delaware," said Governor John Carney. "The company is investing $37 million to build a new distribution center and bring new jobs to our state. We have a world-class workforce, a central location, and a quality of life that is second to none. The fact remains that Delaware is a great place for businesses of all sizes to put down roots, grow, and create good-paying jobs."

Governor Carney was joined by Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer to celebrate the grand opening.

"Dot Foods is a company with a proven record of commitment to its employees and its community," said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. "We are thrilled to have them with us as a partner in helping to make Delaware stronger and healthier with jobs that will provide a future for many families."

Dot's core values include a strong commitment to its communities that can be traced back to founders Robert and Dorothy Tracy. Dot Foods Delaware donated $25,000 to local organizations in 2019 before the start of operations and will continue to increase its monetary and volunteer support of the region in the months to come.

"We take pride in offering high-paying career opportunities," said Tracy. "But at the heart of Dot, we are much more than just an employer. We take our responsibility as a neighbor, as a member of this community seriously. That's the foundation my parents built the business on, and I think you will quickly see that Dot's culture and our people are what sets us apart."

Delaware Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore, D-New Castle, said she is already impressed by Dot Foods' early commitment to the community. 

"From their financial support of local civic groups to their willingness to talk with their neighbors, Dot Foods is quickly proving itself to be a valued member of our business community," she said. "This site will not only distribute food all over the East Coast, it will help its workers put food on the table by providing dozens of good-paying jobs right here in the 12th Senate District. I am thrilled this family-owned business chose our area for its new location and am excited to make them part of our family here in Delaware."

While this marks the grand opening of the facility, Dot's leadership is already looking to the future. The Dot Foods Delaware development is the second of the company's warehouses to use an L-shaped layout. The design allows for convenient expansion of offices and all warehouse temperatures.

Dot Foods Delaware will host an open house for the community on Saturday, February 29, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the distribution center in Bear. Tours of the facility-normally closed to the public-will be available.