Ben E. Keith

    Ben E. Keith history, company profile (overview) and corporate video

       The Ben E. Keith Company is a distributor of food service products and premium beverages headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, United States.

       The Food Division supplies fresh and frozen produce, meats, dry groceries, frozen foods, refrigerated foods, and food service equipment and supplies.

       The Beverage Division distributes Anheuser-Busch InBev products and imports premium and craft beer, flavored malts, wines, spirits, and non-alcoholic drinks. Ben E. Keith Beverage is considered one of the largest beer distributors in the country.


       Ben E. Keith’s origins date back to 1906 when Ben E. Keith was the first salesman and junior partner of Harkrider-Morrison, a produce company in Fort Worth, Texas. Orders were written on tablets and delivered by horse and buggy.

       In 1911, one of the partners, R. E. Morrison, withdrew from the company, and the name was changed to Harkrider-Keith-Cooke Company.

       In 1917, another of the partners, W. Steve Cooke, withdrew from the company to become a co-founder in a Dodge dealership in Fort Worth.

       In 1918, C. E. Harkrider also withdrew from the company.

       In 1918, Ben E. Keith became President and General Manager of the Harkrider-Keith-Cooke Company.

       In 1928, to solve the problem of slower sales in the summer season due to people growing their own gardens, Ben E. Keith met with Adolphus Busch, founder of Busch Beers, and from this meeting, the company became an independent distributor of Anheuser-Busch products.

       In 1931, Harkrider-Keith-Cooke formally changed its name to Ben E. Keith Company.

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       In 1941, the FRESH FROM KEITH’S slogan was created by Mr. Keith’s assistant, Ms. Trula House. The slogan was posted on everything from Ben E. Keith trucks to store posters and packages of produce.

       In 1980, Ben E. Keith Foods began reinventing itself, transitioning from predominately a produce company into broadline food distribution.

       In 1985, the company acquired Monroe Frozen Foods in Shreveport, Louisiana and CMD Produce in Little Rock, Arkansas.

       In 1987, the Mid-South Seafood in Little Rock, Arkansas was acquired.

       In 1990, the Kassner Distributing in San Antonio, Texas, was acquired.

       In 1991, the ABC Distributing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was acquired.

       In 2005, the F & E Foodservice of Wichita, Kansas, was acquired.

       In 2010, Ben E. Keith Foods increased picking accuracy and productivity with Motorola Solutions and the Motorola WT4090 and Selector Pro software.

       In 2016, Kelley Foods of Alabama was acquired.

       In 2019, the company acquired Dallas-based Artisanal Beverage Distributor assets, adding over 100 products to its line of spirits.

       With more than 6,000 employees, the Ben E. Keith Company is considered one of the Largest Public Companies in the World.

    *Information from,, and

    **Video published on YouTube by “Companies History



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