(Manchester, Tenn.) – Dot Foods, Inc., North America’s largest food industry redistributor broke ground today on the company’s 13th U.S. distribution center, which will be located in Manchester, Tennessee. Dot has an existing facility in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and is excited to bring more jobs to the state. Dot’s new Manchester distribution center, located at 600 Manchester Industrial Parkway, will create more than 250 jobs in the first three years of operations.
“When we are looking at where to locate a new facility, the available talent is among our top considerations,” said Dick Tracy, Dot Foods president. “We are excited about the workforce in Coffee County and the surrounding region and believe we have a lot to offer as an employer. We talk about family a lot at Dot. We are a family-owned and -operated company. Breaking ground on our new Manchester distribution center means our Dot Foods and Dot Transportation family is growing, and that’s always reason to celebrate.”
Dot has a long history of doing business in Tennessee. The company had a distribution center in Memphis is the 1980s and 90s and returned to the state in 2015 when it opened the Dyersburg location. Dot will invest $50.5 million into the 177,000-square-foot Manchester facility, which will include offices and dry, refrigerated, and frozen warehouse space and an on-site garage. The L-shaped design of the building gives Dot the ability to easily expand all warehouse and office spaces in future years to meet Dot’s growing customer demand in the southeastern U.S. It will also be the first location to open with an on-site healthcare clinic for anyone covered on Dot’s medial plan. The company has been adding clinics to its existing facilities, so all Dot employees and their families can have convenient access to high-quality, low-cost health care. Hiring for the majority of roles will begin in the spring.
“Centrally located within the U.S. and equipped with a solid infrastructure system, Tennessee is primed to help companies meet and exceed their distribution needs. We are proud to be the home of Dot Foods and look forward to seeing this company’s continued growth and success as it expands into Manchester,” said TNECD Commissioner Stuart McWhorter.
“We are so pleased and excited to have Dot Foods come to Manchester,” said State Representative Rush Bricken. “They are a great company, community focused and will be a wonderful employer for our citizens in this area.”
Longtime employee Anthony Soto will lead the Manchester facility. Soto came to Dot in 2008 as a warehouse specialist at the Burley, Idaho, distribution center before advancing to manage the warehouse and eventually assume the general manager role at Dot Foods Idaho. He has also helmed Dots Arizona distribution center. Soto, an Air Force veteran, and his wife Hayley are looking forward to making their next home in Manchester.
“I’m most excited about building our team,” explained Soto, general manager of Dot Foods Manchester. “I love getting to educate and train, and the founding group of employees at a new Dot location is really special. I had an opportunity to be part of it when we opened our Idaho location, and I can’t wait to experience it again here in Manchester.”
Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI), the company’s transportation affiliate, has already begun hiring truck drivers in the region. DTI has a variety of driving careers available and unlike some carriers, pay drivers for every part of the job. Drivers earn an average of $96,000 annually. As part of Thursday’s groundbreaking, DTI announced a $50,000 donation to Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) – McMinnville, which serves Coffee County, to provide truck driver training in the region. Half of the money is designated for scholarships, and the other half will be used on equipment for the training program. The driver training school will initially be based at TCAT’s McMinnville campus, until a second location can be established in Coffee County. While the program will be available to anyone interested, student drivers hired by DTI to attend the TCAT training school will earn a salary during training and attend school for free. TCAT will also work to establish diesel mechanic and HVAC training at the McMinnville and/or Coffee County campus in the near future; Dot hopes to recruit from those programs as well.
“Dot Foods is a great addition to Coffee County,” said Melody Edmonds, president of TCAT – McMinnville. “They have immediately proven their commitment to the educational community through this generous donation which will change lives. We look forward to our continued partnership.”
The Manchester groundbreaking also marked the kickoff of Dot’s charitable giving program at its newest location. Tracy announced $120,000 in donations to 10 area schools/nonprofit organizations:
- Manchester City Schools: $20,000
- Coffee County Schools: $20,000
- Tullahoma City Schools: $20,000
- Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center $10K
- Coffee County Child Care Center $10K
- Blue Monarch $10K
- Veterans of Foreign Wars $10K
The three food pantries serving Coffee County will split a food donation valued at approximately $20,000:
- Storehouse Food Pantry
- Good Samaritan Food Bank of Manchester
- Good Samaritan Food Bank of Tullahoma
All Dot Foods locations have a charitable committee that approves grants and coordinates volunteer opportunities for employees within the company’s five charitable focus areas. Giving back to their community was a priority for Dot Foods co-founders Robert (RT) and Dorothy Tracy from day one and continues to be a major focus for the company and its employees today.
“We believe in being a good neighbor,” said Tracy, “And my parents taught us that goes well beyond providing great careers. We have a responsibility to also do our part to support the community we call home. The 10 organizations we donated to today are doing such important work. It’s a privilege to help support their efforts. This is just the beginning of Dot’s philanthropic commitment to the region. We look forward to supporting many more groups moving forward.”
“Dot Foods’ decision to invest in Coffee County is a testament to our potential for growth and prosperity,” said Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell. “We thank the leadership at Dot Foods, including the Tracy family, for committing to our community’s future through the construction of their newest distribution facility.”
“With our transportation advantages, business-friendly environment, and highly skilled workforce, it’s clear as to why Dot Foods chose Manchester,” said Manchester Mayor Marilyn Howard. “We’re excited to have this great company join our community, and we look forward to many years of partnership and success. I want to thank the leadership at Dot Foods for committing to investing in our future and for creating high-quality jobs that will be a boost to our local economy.”
Work on the Manchester distribution center will begin immediately, with a goal of having the facility operational in fall 2023. Dot selected Stellar as the design-builder of the project. Stellar also designed and constructed Dot’s Dyersburg, Tennessee, facility, which opened in 2015. Dot will also use a substantial number of local and regional contractors on this project.
Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, Dot Foods is North America’s largest food industry redistributor, serving all 50 states and more than 55 countries with a product offering of 125,000 items.
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