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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 9, September 2011, Posted On: 9/14/2011

Vistar Acquires Vend Service

Emily Jed
Vistar, Vistar/VSA, Merchant Mart, Vend Service Inc., vending, vending machine, vending machine business, vend product distributor, Performance Food Group, food service, vending supplies, Carl Sidwell, Mike Sidwell, Diane Sidwell, Mark Sidwell

CENTENNIAL, CO -- Vistar has acquired Vend Service Inc., a vend distributor with locations in Rome, GA, and Ocala, FL.

Vend Service was founded in 1965 by Carl Sidwell in Rome, GA. He had worked on the supply side of the industry at Southern Bread Co. and Frito-Lay and saw a need for a distribution company that could carry all the products a vending operator needed and conveniently deliver them in one stop.

By 1974, Vend Service had taken on enough lines for Sidwell to move operations from his home to a commercial warehouse. By 1976, with a roster of more than 25 items and a growing customer base, he expanded his facility.

Sidwell sold the business in 1984 to his two oldest sons, Steve and Mike, and opened a 10,000-sq.ft. distribution center in Orlando, FL, with his daughter, Diane, and youngest son, Mark.

In 1986, Flowers Foods made the Vend Service founder an offer to purchase the Orlando site and he took the opportunity to retire. Diane and Mark joined their brothers in the Rome, GA, operation. In 1988, the distributorship doubled the size of its facility and added a racking system that stored products three levels high. After much debate, Vend Service also added confections to its list of offerings, which proved to be a turning point for the distributorship.

Steve left the family business in 1991, and Mike, Mark and Diane coaxed their father out of retirement at age 65.

In 1995, Vend Service built a brand new 40,000-sq.ft. warehouse and soon expanded it, doubling its capacity. In 2001, the vending distributor purchased its current facility in Ocala, FL. A year later, the company added frozen products to its repertoire.

Vistar, a national vend product distributor, is a division of Performance Food Group, which is comprised of three segments: Vistar, Performance Foodservice and PFG Customized Distribution. The company delivers food products nationwide to vending companies, restaurants, pizzerias, theaters, schools, hotels, healthcare facilities and other institutions through its 65 distribution centers and 12 Merchant's Mart locations across the U.S.

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