US Foods, Rosemont, Ill., opened its sixth LEED-certified distribution center in Flowood, Miss.

“This is an exciting day for US Foods and for our customers throughout Mississippi, as this new facility allows us to more efficiently service our customers and provides our employees with an exceptional working environment,” says Gil Smith, division president. “This new building has everything we need to be able to keep kitchens cooking for our customers for many years to come.”

The new 272,000-square-foot facility was built after the original location was destroyed by a tornado last April. It will service more than 4,000 chefs, restaurant owners and foodservice operators throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. 

“This past year has been all about rebuilding, and we couldn’t have done it without help from our community,” says Smith. “The support that we’ve received just reinforces what we already knew—Flowood is one of the best business communities in the country.”

A highlight of the new building is its state-of-the-art kitchen. US Foods Kitchens welcomes more than 10,000 restaurateurs from around the world each year to visit and collaborate on developing new menu items. This facility, known as the Jackson Division, features a demonstration kitchen stocked with culinary tools, the latest A/V equipment and menu development software, allowing for training and product testing. Other notable features include temperature-controlled zones for optimal food safety, a significantly increased selection of fresh produce and products and two produce ripening rooms.

Jackson Division was built by ESI Group, LLC, Hartland, Wis., and includes a number of green enhancements, such as energy efficient lighting, dedicated fleet fueling and maintenance area and a cascade refrigeration system that uses CO2 as a refrigeration fluid in place of ammonia.