In 1923, Emil and Henry Stanz founded Stanz Cheese Company in South Bend, Indiana with just a few thousand dollars invested. Prior to starting their own distribution business, Emil had been a warehouseman and cheese maker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and worked for Morris & Company out of Chicago, Illinois. After gaining invaluable experience with Morris & Company on the procurement side, Emil began selling cheese products in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana for another smaller firm.
Emil saw the development of roads in Indiana and believed that truck delivery was probably going to be a growth area. He talked with his brother Henry about the possibilities who had similar experience in the cheese business and they decided to develop their own company.
They established the speculative inventory holding and selling, a model that is still used today, to help differentiate themselves from those that were utilizing train distribution only. The concept married the delivery man position with the sales position that we know as separate today.
Shortly after the war, in 1945, Stanz made the strategic move to focus on Institutional Food Service rather than Retail. This move was a key cross road in our historical journey. Stanz also was, and still is, blessed with loyal and talented people and customers that have made the difference in our success.
Over the years, Stanz continued to add more product categories, service more varied types of customers, and even weathered tough economic and business partner strategic challenges. Taking exceptional care of the customer, staying flexible and resilient, and being willing to change processes and direction where necessary, and to listen and respond to the needs of our customers, were strengths instilled by Henry and Emil Stanz that are still followed with the same passion today.
Today we occupy a 152,000 square foot multi-temperature state of the art facility on our nearly 13 acre campus right next to the Michiana Regional Airport. We are proud to carry on the traditions that were begun with a small investment, an idea, and a commitment to the customer. While the industry has changed and we have changed along with it, we have never forgotten our roots and still have that passion to service the customer.
As we celebrated our 90th anniversary in 2013 we took some time to reflect on our relevance to our customers and community. We were proud of what we discovered. We began in 1923 as a niche distributor of cheese products and today operate as a broad-line food distributor but never changed our values and passion for customer service.
We have been shaped, not only by our industry, but also, and perhaps more importantly, by our customers and community. We are a product of this region and are proud to be able to give back. When we work together with local companies, we are empowered to do good things and to remain independent.
One important goal for our company is to help others. It makes us proud to watch our customers and employees succeed and for our community to be improved because of our involvement.
Power Units (Tractors) - All of our tractors are equipped with governors for idling. After a short period of time the truck will turn off. This reduces emissions and unnecessary consumption of fuel.
Trailers - We have installed battery packs in our trailers so the tractor does not need to run to provide lighting to the interior.
Lighting - We use the most efficient warehouse lighting coupled with motion sensors that turn off the lights after a short period of inactivity. Before that replacement they stayed on 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. We also utilize high-efficiency lighting in our office areas.
With the change, we have reduced our kilo watt hours by 400,000+ which has the equivalent positive impact to the environment as planting 74 acres of trees, or removing 65 cars from the road, or saving 33,000 gallons of gas, or saving 789 barrels of oil!
Recycling - We have an aggressive recycling program where we recycle shrink wrap, cardboard boxes, and personal use items. We are committed to doing our part in protecting the resources around us and to have a focus on eliminating waste.
Stanz Wellness Program
We encourage our employee's along with their spouses to join our wellness program and consider ways to improve their lives by starting with their health.
Success comes from their efforts and their success begins with their health. Our employees touch our community in so many ways.
REINVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITY
Stanz is proud to support the community in which we live by investing in many non-profit and community organizations each year with thousands of dollars of financial and food product contributions.
Partnership for a better tomorrow
We believe that when we partner with our customers, support local suppliers, and reinvest in our community, we form a bond that is unique in purpose and impact. Our long-term relationship with local business has returned millions of dollars of positive impact to our community.
Employee Impact to the Economy
For starters, we provide a secure and stable employment option for South Bend. Our employees drive over $6,000,000 of economic impact to our region from their wages.
Additionally, we invest a significant and growing amount in purchases from the Midwest Region, buying as much local quality product as possible.
Together, our employees, customers, and suppliers create a powerful force for making our ‘home’ a great place to live.