A portion of Food Services of America’s Seattle operations, including its 250,000-square-foot-distribution facility in Kent, have been acquired by Lacey, Washington-based Harbor Wholesale Foods, a deal affecting some 200 workers at the Kent warehouse.
As part of the acquisition, Harbor will assume a portion of the customer base served by the Kent facility, including some 1,700 independent restaurant operators in a 10-county region in Western Washington. In addition, 200 Food Services of America (FSA) employees in Kent are slated to be laid off permanently next month, according to a notification filed with the state under the federal WARN Act.
Harbor did announce that FSA Seattle’s “executive leadership and several experienced and dedicated associates” will be retained by Harbor “creating a combined team of nearly 700 people.” Taber Lee, director of marketing for Harbor, confirms that the Kent facility will remain open and the workers laid off as a result of the FSA acquistion will have an opportunity to apply for jobs at Harbor, which "will be hiring 200-plus emloyees."
“We've been serving [Pacific] Northwest communities for 96 years and the FSA Seattle business provides a platform to expand our presence and positive influence throughout the region,” says Harbor Chief Executive Officer Justin Erickson.
Harbor distributes products to some 3,000 locations in Washington, Oregon and parts of California, Idaho and Arkansas from distribution facilities in Lacey and Roseburg, Oregon. With the addition of the FSA Seattle-area operations, the fourth-generation family-owned company will have a base of some 5,000 customers.
FSA, which is part of Scottsdale, Arizona-based Services Group of America (SGA), also operates facilities in Spokane and Everett, according to its website. SGA is being acquired by US Foods Holding Corp. for $1.8 billion in cash.
As part of that deal, in order to clear regulatory hurdles, US Foods agreed to divest three FSA distribution facilities, including the one in Kent ― although it will retain a portion of business now serviced by the Kent facility, according to Lee. Sara Matheu, spokesperson for US Foods, stresses that the Kent employees affected by the divesture will be offered employment opportunites with Harbor "or remain employees of FSA with US Foods as the new owner."