February 19, 2020

The Coastal Companies acquires Lancaster Foods in produce merger

The Coastal Companies has acquired of Lancaster Foods from Guest Services Inc., a hospitality management company based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Lancaster Foods, a leading retail produce distributor and processor, joins Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh and Hearn Kirkwood as subsidiaries of The Coastal Companies.

The addition of Lancaster Foods significantly enhances The Coastal Companies’ retail presence and expands Lancaster’s product offering to include grab-and-go, ready-to-eat and prepared foods. With this acquisition, The Coastal Companies becomes the preeminent resource for produce distribution, processing, and prepared foods on the East Coast.

The Coastal Companies will continue to operate Lancaster Foods under its current brand name and from its existing facility in Jessup, Maryland. John Gates, president of Lancaster Foods, and his team will remain with the company and continue to lead the organization. In conjunction with this transaction, Gates joins The Coastal Companies Board of Directors and becomes a member of The Coastal Companies executive leadership team.

“Lancaster and Coastal have emerged as leaders in their markets. We have shared values around people and relationships. We are excited to be joining The Coastal Companies,” Gates said through a press release. “Together, our network of vendors and our portfolio of products and services will enable us to provide even greater value to our customers.”

With the addition of Lancaster, The Coastal Companies expands to four facilities, more than 650,000-square feet of cold storage and processing, and unmatched market reach stretching from Maine to Florida.

Lancaster is located off of I-95 in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and near its sister companies Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh and Hearn Kirkwood. Over the coming year, overlapping retail and wholesale customer relationships will be harmonized while foodservice relationships will remain unchanged.

The Coastal Companies, founded in 1992, operates 650,000 square feet of refrigerated space across four facilities and has in-house logistics capabilities that provide reach from Maine to Florida.

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Jessup, Maryland, Lancaster Foods offers produce, organics, fresh-cut, and retail-ready fruits and vegetables for retail and wholesale customers. Lancaster Foods operates a 220,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution and processing center and a fleet of over 100 company-owned vehicles that run daily along the East Coast.