The Dutch Valley Story
Since 1978, Dutch Valley Food Distributors, Inc. has operated with a passion for providing customers with quality products and services. The third-generation family business seeks to bring honor and glory to God by building relationships and pursuing the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Planting the Seeds of Good
The seeds of Dutch Valley Food Distributors, Inc. were planted over 100 years ago when respected East Earl, PA farmer, Elam Burkholder, opened a butcher shop and retail store on the family farm.
Growing a Family Legacy
Elam was blessed with 15 children, and one took a special interest in the family business. Clarence M. Burkholder (popularly known as Pappy) grew into a successful second-generation butcher shop and retail owner. Pappy was heralded for creative business-minded ideas, such as selling white sugar in bulk during canning season.
Building a Love for Bulk
The family legacy continued to a third generation with Pappy's son, Clarence S. In the late 1960s, he opened Dutch Way Farm Market in Myerstown. Clarence S. grew the bulk food business at his retail store to include items like sugar, raisins, oatmeal, cocoa, and rice, which he picked up himself with a single straight truck.
Branching out with Bulk
Clarence presented the idea of bulk foods to independent supermarkets in the tri-county area. This led to increased success by 1975. Clarence then acquired Antilles Sugar and Spice Company to begin a larger bulk food distribution.
Honoring Our Dutch Heritage
On October 30th, 1978, Clarence changed the business name to Dutch Valley Food Distributors, Inc. The name paid tribute to the rich Dutch heritage found in his southeastern Pennsylvania homeland.
A Wholehearted Dedication to Quality
Clarence was dedicated to ensuring quality. Every product was picked up and delivered by his own fleet to maintain consistent quality. To keep up with demand, his one straight truck grew to a fleet of five straight trucks and five tractor-trailers.
By the early 1980s, Dutch Valley grew to 20 full-time employees including office staff, salesmen, and drivers. Maintaining the tradition of this family business, one of the first local salespersons was Clarence's brother, Mel Burkholder.
Maintaining Homegrown Goodness
As Dutch Valley continued to grow, Clarence believed he needed to focus even more on the quality of the 1,000 items stocked in the warehouse. He created a manufacturing department and began processing sweetened coconut, snack mixes and other bulk items.
A Home in Myerstown
With the first long-distance salesman, C.B. Horst, forming relationships outside of Pennsylvania, DV was growing faster than ever. Clarence purchased 10 acres of land along Route 501 in Myerstown and built a new facility with 2,500 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of warehouse space to keep up with demand. Dutch Valley moved into the Myerstown location in 1986 and operations continue there today.
Building Trust & Lifelong Friendships
In 1988, Mel Burkholder purchased Dutch Valley Food Distributors, Inc. from Clarence. The business continued to thrive, and the Manufacturing Department officially became a sister company, Dutch Valley Food Development, in 2006. Mel continued leading the business until 2009, when his son, Matt Burkholder, was named President. In 2012, Mel sold the majority of the business to his three sons (Matt, Lane & Corby) and Matt became CEO.
Today, Dutch Valley employs over 350 people and has 300,000+ square feet of warehouse space, a full-service truck center, and state-of-the-art office space and training rooms. The warehouse features over 5,000 items, with a wide range of categories from candy, chocolates, nuts, and dried fruit to baking supplies, packaging as well as specialty items like GF and organic. Dutch Valley Transportation, formed in 2013, features a full fleet that delivers to customers in 29 states.
A Family of Companies
The Dutch Valley Family of Companies now consists of Dutch Valley Food Distributors, with a branch in Millersburg, Ohio; Dutch Valley Food Development; Dutch Valley Transportation; AllBulkFoods.com; and Best of Lancaster County. Channels of business have also expanded beyond the independent retail platform to include Ecommerce, Chain Retail, and Industrial/Commercial.
Growing to Give
As Dutch Valley continues to evolve and grow, so does the company’s commitment to Sharing What's Good and giving back to create a lasting impact on the world around them. Find out more about what Sharing What's Good means here...