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Tankersley to hold ground breaking

Tankersley Food Service at 3203 Industrial Park Road in Van Buren will hold a ground-breaking ceremony for a $4 million warehouse expansion at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The Van Buren Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event will be attended by Tankersley personnel, Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman, County Judge John Hall, representatives of U.S. Senator John Boozman and Congressman Steve Womack’s offices and other local officials.

The addition will include 28,000-square-feet of freezer space, new refrigerated dock and new customer service offices. Tankersley’s distribution center will be increased to about 175,000-square-feet.

Tankersley Food Service is the largest independent food service company based in Arkansas and was recently named the 2013 Arkansas business of the year by the Arkansas Business publication.

CEO Don Tankersley said the additional square footage is necessary for the company to continue growing its business.

Tankersley and his family have built the company into the largest food service company in Arkansas and Oklahoma. It ranked No. 61 on Arkansas Business’ most recent list of the state’s largest private companies with revenues of $114 million in the fiscal year that ended in March 2012.

The expansion will be beneficial by allowing Tankersley to carry more products to help better service its customers, said Thomas Moon, executive vice president and general manager.

It also will benefit the community by creating more jobs, Moon said. Tankersley currently employs 220 people.

Founded as an ice cream manufacturer in 1944, the company eventually expanded its offerings to offset slow winter sales. Now the company offers food service to schools, health care facilities and restaurants.

Moon said the company holds a commodities contract with all of Arkansas’ public schools and nearly half the schools in Oklahoma are customers.

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