Beginning as a partnership between Dave Wood and Oscar Fruitticher in 1913, this wholesale grocery supplier has grown much larger than the two originally envisioned. In 1935, Wood purchased Fruitticher’s half of the company and continued to keep the business in the family for many years. The company announced in 1980 that its sales had reached $10 million annually. Over the next few decades the company invested in many warehouse upgrades, expansions, and new space to operate more efficiently and to better serve its customers. In 2010, the company’s sales reached almost $300 million annually, making Wood Fruitticher the 25th largest food distributor in the U.S.
Wood Fruitticher Food Service is an independent, broad line distributor of food and other restaurant-related products that services Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. This fourth generation, family-owned-and-operated business is committed to meeting and exceeding its customers’ expectations.
The company credits its success to its people. “Our employees are the reason this company runs so well,” said Richard Toya, director of transportation at Wood Fruitticher. “Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.” Wood Fruitticher has one of the industry’s highest fill rates with a state-of-the-art, $365,000-square-foot facility equipped with R.F. barcode scanning for error-free receiving, shipping and inventory control. And it’s all tied together with an advanced, automated routing system, ensuring its customers get what they need, when they need it.
To keep its promise of delivering products to its customers on time and at the right temperature, Wood Fruitticher depends on companies like Great Dane to build quality products which help them meet their customers’ needs. The company’s fresh and frozen vegetables, meats, condiments, and other items are delivered in Great Dane trailers every day and have been for years.
“We chose to partner with Great Dane because they build great trailers with which we have always had great success,” said Toya. “After 25 years together in this partnership, Great Dane and their equipment continue to serve our needs well and meet and exceed every expectation. The trailers have always been durable, reliable, and we’ve never had an issue with keeping product at the correct temperatures, which helps us meet our business objectives.”
The company’s fleet has 130 Great Dane reefers, which range from 28 feet to 48 feet. Each trailer has three compartments, two side doors on the driver’s side and a roll-up door in the back.
Spec’d for durability and efficiency, these trailers are equipped with aluminum heavy-duty reefer cargo Safety-Grip floors, aluminum scuffbands, Bustin pullout platform steps for all side doors, a 16-foot walk ramp in the rear and LED entrance lights for driver safety.
Toya adds, “One thing is for sure – these trailers are built to last!”
After over two decades of partnering with Great Dane, Toya says “the partnership operates like a well-oiled machine.” He attributes this success to quality workmanship and consistent customer service. Wood Fruitticher has worked with the same Great Dane account representative for the majority of the relationship. “He knows us and understands our needs, which is an important piece of the puzzle from our perspective,” Toya said.