Jake’s Finer Foods has officially opened its new 180,000-square-foot distribution facility and corporate headquarters in northwest Houston TX. The facility, under construction for most of 2009, is Phase One of an eventual development of a 360,000-sq-ft refrigerated distribution facility. The design of the new complex was influenced by “best of breed” technologies that increase efficiency, reduce costs, and cut energy use and environmental waste.
The new distribution center, at 13400 Hollister Drive, inside Beltway 8 and near Highway 249 in Houston, represents a leap forward for Jake’s, both in economic and ecological terms.
According to Leonard Bench, Jake’s president and chief executive officer, “We spent a great deal of time researching before we ever broke ground for new construction. As we discovered technologies that fit our profile, we adopted those into our design. Our new facility features a fully refrigerated dock, including a –20° F storage facility for ice cream. This ensures that food is kept at proper temperatures throughout its handling and storage. We use an ammonia cooling system that is 30% more efficient than traditional cooling methods. We utilize a vortex non-chemical water purification system that permits greater reuse of our water and ensures that it is environmentally safe when expelled. Essentially, no issue was too small when it came to our design philosophy.”
The facility also takes advantage of “voice-pick” technology and strategic pick paths, making the pulling and processing of customer orders more efficient. Jake’s uses the Atlet brand of pallet jacks, a Swedish product that increases speed, safety, and efficiency in high-throughput warehouses. Jake’s warehouse management system facilitates accurate tracking of four distinct product date fields to assure fresh and safe products. HAACP-certified, the facility exceeds bioterrorism food handling requirements.
This distribution center provides slots for more than 20,000 items and more than 4.3 million cubic feet of storage, including seven distinct temperature zones designed to maintain ideal product storage conditions. The management offers guided tours of the new facility on a by-request basis.