Two long-time food service companies recently united with one goal in mind: to ultimately convert their merged businesses into a successful employee-owned and operated legacy.
Jim Schweppe, creator of St. Louis-based Elite Cuisine along with brothers Brian and Greg Porembski, founders of Kansas City’s Superior Vend-All, merged their companies into the newly branded Apex Restaurant and Market Solutions, Inc. The integrated company – which has more than 200 employees with plans to add approximately 20 more in the next year – will evolve into an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) within the next 18 months.
“Our consolidation was intentionally designed to transition into an employee-owned organization, one where we can reward our dedicated team members for their hard work,” said Schweppe. “It’s an exciting time for all of us because our employees have the chance to own part of a company that now has even bigger growth potential.”
Founded in 2004, Elite Cuisine is a full-service provider that offers catering, micro markets, in-office cafes and coffee, and vending services for its corporate clients. Established in 1997 with offices in Kansas City and Sedalia, Superior Vend-All is Kansas City’s largest independent micro market and vending provider.
The merger makes Apex the largest independently owned corporate food service company based in Missouri. Apex will feature over 250 micro markets located in office and manufacturing facilities across Missouri. These convenient self-checkout markets offer employees a wide selection of healthy food and quality beverage options. Nearly 10% of Apex’s micro markets are hybrid facilities, which highlight a chef-prepared hot food component available for purchase.
Both Elite Cuisine and Superior Vend-All will maintain their offices at 314 Marshall Rd. in St. Louis, Mo., 3707 East 14th St. in Kansas City, Mo., and 2309 W. Main St. in Sedalia, Mo. The consolidated company plans to immediately expand by adding a Columbia, Mo. office to handle clients that include 3M and Good Day Farms. Current clients for Elite Cuisine include Burns & McDonnell, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Maritz, and World Wide Technology. Superior Vend-All clients include Amazon, Smithfield Foods, Stanley Black & Decker, and Tyson Foods.
“This is a strategic, value-added merger between two strong companies that can now provide additional resources to our clients,” said Brian Porembski. “By creating this employee-owned company, which has ownership roots in both St. Louis and Kansas City, we believe we are ultimately offering our clients located throughout Missouri the very best food service value for their employees.”
All three owners will manage the combined company as co-CEOs with Jim focusing on finances and human resources, Brian on business development, and Greg handling daily operations. Financial details were not disclosed.
For more information, call (866) 607-4400 and visit www.apexrefresh.com.
*Featured Image Courtesy: Apex Restaurant and Market Solutions, Inc.
Pictured from left to right are Jim Schweppe, Brian Porembski and Greg Porembski.