Ben E. Keith Co., Austin, Texas, broke ground on a new foodservice distribution center in New Brockton, Ala. The new facility will position the company to expand its distribution coverage in the Southeast.

Construction of the 425,000-square-foot distribution center is estimated to be complete December 2021.

"Ben E. Keith Foods is deeply committed to the communities of Alabama, and consider this our gateway to the Southeast as we continue to expand our market area," says Mike Sweet, president. "The added capacity will be a welcomed addition to enhance the customer experience through more item offering, technology and services."

The new facility will include features such as multishuttles from Dematic, Grand Rapids, Mich.; state-of-the-art refrigeration system from Frick Industrial Refrigeration, Waynesboro, Pa.; security systems, LED lighting, exclusive warehouse management systems, a modern test kitchen and training center.

The project will create 80 new jobs over the next five years.