Long Island-based facility to service 674 stores in New York, New Jersey.
7-Eleven Inc. is getting “fresh” with customers with the opening of its environmentally in-tune commissary and combined distribution center (CDC) in Long Island, NY.
At the mixed-use facility, fresh foods will be prepared and delivered to 674 7-Eleven stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The 130,000-square-foot facility is operated by Norris Food, Bohemia, NY. More than 250 Long Islanders are employed at the integrated distribution center and commissary kitchen, where daily activities include the creation of a wide variety of fresh foods delivered each day to local 7-Eleven stores.
“The building of the commissary and CDC demonstrates 7-Eleven’s approach to providing a broad selection of fresh, high-quality foods in an environment that will conserve energy, water usage and utility costs,” says Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven president and CEO.
Food-processing areas were constructed with thick polymer concrete toppings and contain anti-microbial agents that won’t crack or shear off on the floor. Light fixtures can be changed from outside the room to reduce breakage and eliminate potential room contamination. Because the site did not have access to a municipal sanitary sewer system, 7-Eleven invested in a gas-energy mixing system to treat the water before discharging it.
Sandwiches, salads, entrees and other fresh foods are prepared in the commissary’s 72,000-square-foot kitchen.
The CDC/commissary complex is less than a mile away from the Glenn Wayne Bakery, which serves 7-Eleven stores in the New York City area. To keep up with 7-Eleven customers’ growing taste for fresh-baked goods, partners Wayne Stelz and Glenn Alessi opened the new 30,000-square-foot facility last January, having outgrown its other plant in Patchogue.
Glenn Wayne Bakery prepares 27 different varieties of baked goods each day for 7-Eleven, which are transported to stores through the new CDC. Each month, approximately 1 million donuts, brownies, muffins, cookies and other items are baked fresh and distributed the same day to more than 275 stores, with 20 more 7-Eleven stores expected to be opened this year in the NYC area.
HOW IT WORKS
Through sophisticated inventory and computerized ordering systems, 7-Eleven store operators place their orders by 10 a.m. each day for deliveries that begin the very same day. The computer system quickly consolidates these orders and transmits them to the CDCs, commissaries and bakeries that support 7-Eleven stores across the U.S.
Upon receipt of the stores’ orders, 7-Eleven sandwiches, salads and baked goods are prepared fresh that same day. Fresh food products are immediately stamped with the time and date after they are made.
Other perishable and time-sensitive products are delivered throughout the day, to be sorted for that night’s delivery. Trucks are then dispatched to deliver each store’s merchandise between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day.
To ensure quality, the CDC facility follows strict product-handling and temperature standards. Products brought to the CDC are continually maintained at prescribed temperatures throughout food preparation, sorting and transportation cycles. The CDC also ensures food quality by shipping from temperature-controlled docks.
Delivery vehicles are equipped to control two temperature zones—operating both a refrigerated compartment maintained at 38° F and a dry compartment held at 70° F—assuring food safety, no matter what season it is.
7-Eleven instituted the daily delivery of fresh foods, bakery items and other perishable products to its nationwide network of stores in 1994. Today, more than 5,600 7-Eleven stores across the U.S. and Canada now offer customers fresh and safe products through this intricate preparation and distribution system.
“The opening of this sophisticated distribution system represents an expansion of 7-Eleven’s and Norris Food Services’ vision to provide high-quality foods prepared in a safe and earth-friendly environment,” says William J. Norris, owner of the CDC and the commissary.