Detwiler's Breaks Ground On Distribution Warehouse

Todays News

Pictured: Mike Asher, Mark Chait, Steve Schlabach, Henry Detwiler Sr., Sam Detwiler, Henry Detwiler Jr., Caleb Detwiler and Josh Detwiler.. Photo courtesy Detwiler's.

A local specialty grocery chain just broke ground on a 133,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Palmetto.

University Park-based Detwiler’s Food Market held a groundbreaking ceremony last week on the property, which will be located at Benderson Development’s Florida International Tradeport.

“Our goal is to be able to bring our prices down lower and continue to stay true to our ‘Eat Fresh for Less’ motto,” said Sam Detwiler, president of Detwiler’s Farm Market.

At the groundbreaking, he said the company is currently operating out of two different centers. One of those is at the chain’s corporate offices on 16th Street in Sarasota. But the new warehouse will become the new home to the main offices, produce, meat, deli and grocery distribution centers, all in a single location.

“We’re looking forward to all being under one roof in our new distribution center so we can serve our customers even better,” Detwiler’s Farm Market Founder Henry Detwiler Sr. said.

Sam Detwiller called the current distribution system a “nightmare” now that the company has growth to six stores.

“By us being able to control our own distribution, it’s been crucial," he said. "Even since we were a small little company, with one store getting ready to open a second store, we already had a little distribution. We know this is crucial and we are super excited. It can’t come quick enough. We’re busting at the seams.”

Henry Detwiler said his sons working in the business all wanted double the space in the massive warehouse, but he believes the new warehouse will handle the company's needs for the foreseeable future.

Benderson opened its Tradeport industrial park in 2018 and announced a significant expansion in 2021, at which point the park had six leased buildings. That number has since grown to 12 buildings on a 2-million-square-foot property, with another eight expected to open this year.

Detwiler’s broke ground on its warehouse facility a week ago on May 13. The massive center will allow a consolidation of space serving six Detwiler’s locations operating in the Sarasota-Manatee area.

Henry Detwiler started the Detwiler’s first with a tent at Sutter Egg Farm and later a Palmer store. Between a first roadside stand serving Sarasota in 2002 to the opening of a West Bradenton location in December, the Detwiler’s chain has grown to six locations, including Sarasota stores on Palmer Boulevard, Lockwood Ridge Road and Clark Road, a Venice location on Tamiami Trail, a Palmetto market on U.S. 301 and most recently a West Bradenton location on 53rd Avenue West.

The warehouse should allow the Amish chain to further expand in the region with fewer logistics challenges.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a long time,” Sam Detwiller said.

Pictured: Mike Asher, Mark Chait, Steve Schlabach, Henry Detwiler Sr., Sam Detwiler, Henry Detwiler Jr., Caleb Detwiler and Josh Detwiler.. Photo courtesy Detwiler's.

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