Gordon Food Service makes Forbes list

August 12, 2011
| By Pete Daly |
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Gordon Food Service is one of the top 15 “best” family-run, privately held companies in the United States, according to Forbes magazine.

In June, Forbes canvassed its list of America’s largest private companies to arrive at a list of the 15 “best family companies, in terms of both size (revenue) and longevity (year they were founded).”

Gordon, which has revenue of $7.1 billion, according to Forbes, was founded by Dutch immigrants in 1897.

Isaac Van Westenbrugge was 23 when he started his eggs-and-butter delivery service in Grand Rapids, according to the company website. In 1914, he bought a delivery truck, the first motorized delivery service in Grand Rapids. In 1916, 16-year-old Ben Gordon went to work for Van Westenbrugge, and several years later, married Westenbrugge’s daughter, Ruth. In 1933, Gordon became a partner in the business.

In 1942, the company was renamed Gordon Food Service, and in 1962, it moved its base of operations from Grand Rapids to Wyoming, establishing its corporate headquarters on 50th Street up to the present day. In 1962, the company reached $6 million in sales.

The company is led today by the fourth generation of the founding family. Jim Gordon is CEO and his brother, Dan, is chairman of the board.

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