Dot Foods has mastered the art of redistribution, a unique segment of the foodservice industry that its founders, Robert and Dorothy Tracy, pioneered when they launched the company in 1960. With eight kids to feed, a house to pay for and little more than a station wagon and a dream with which to build a business, they started delivering powdered milk and other food products to dairies in the Midwest.
Fast forward to today: The Mount Sterling, Ill.-based redistributor was No. 65 on Forbes’ 2016 list of America’s Largest Private Companies with annual sales hitting $6.6 billion. Dot Foods operates 10 distribution centers across the U.S. and two in Canada. It carries nearly 120,000 products from 835 manufacturers and operates Dot Transportation, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary. Dot delivers products to distributors in all 50 states and more than 25 countries.
As family business success stories go, it’s one for the ages. Now helmed by second-generation leaders John (executive chairman), Joe (CEO) and Dick (president) Tracy, the company is doubling in size every five years. Over the years, the Tracy children have helped to shepherd Dot Foods through massive organizational change and growth, but every step they’ve taken forward has been guided by the past.
If the Tracys are undisputed masters of redistribution, they’re also adept at leveraging and honoring Dot Foods’ heritage to shape its brand story and its future. The ethics and values on which “RT” and Dorothy Tracy built the company guide and inspire every major decision its current leaders make. The promise the couple made in 1960 to provide every customer with individualized service continues to frame the company’s go-to-market strategy and its corporate culture. And the innovation that they brought to the industry – introducing the very concept of redistribution to help customers and vendors alike grow more profitably – drives Dot’s current leaders to continue its legacy of outside-the-box thinking. The company lives and breathes its motto: “Trusted values. Innovative solutions. Shared growth.”
Visit “dotfoods.com” to get a taste of how past, present and future come together to create a compelling, heritage-rich brand story. Whether you’re a customer, employee, vendor or other stakeholder, you’ll quickly get the message that heritage really matters at Dot Foods. (Photos courtesy of Dot Foods)