FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — With the pandemic serving as a catalyst for growth, the grocery delivery market is expanding at a rapid pace. One of the companies expanding its growth is Schwan’s Home Delivery.
“With more and more families at home due to the pandemic we were more a part of America’s kitchen table,” Joe Kirby Schwan’s Home Delivery President and CEO said. “That’s where I think we shine through with our people and the way were serve and deliver to our consumers.”
Schwan’s Home Delivery has been around since 1952 when owner Marvin Schwan packed up his Dodge panel van with 14 gallons of his family’s signature ice cream and began delivering it to rural families in western Minnesota.
For decades the company has grown becoming a multibillion-dollar delivery service. The company has routes in 48 states and is the largest direct-to-consumer frozen food company in the U.S serving more than 2 million customers.
“We’ve been an iconic company for almost 70 years now,” Kirby said. “We have a nationwide presence but Midwest heart. We see families grow up, families become empty nesters, products coming and going but throughout its, that consent special relationship between the family we serve and our drivers and we try and maintain it.”
Schwan’s Home Delivery is known for its big yellow trucks that bring frozen food items like pizza, ice cream, and other products right to your door.
Where there aren’t big yellow trucks serving the community, Kirby says the company can ship their product using dry ice with an average delivery time of just two days.
In 2019 sales were increasing and the company began updating its digital platforms, making it easier for customers to buy and order food as well as updating technology to help delivery drivers keep track of orders. Then the pandemic hit.
Due to COVID-19 sales increased dramatically. Kirby says that with the increase came an increase in the companies focus on bettering the lives of its employees and their families.
“We are working on the employer experience to make sure we are an employer of choice,” Kirby said. “For example, we are ensuring that all of our people, including those who run routes today can get home in time for dinner. In times passed we’d sell well into the evening.”
Along with ending the workday earlier than in years passed the company is also offering competitive wages, better benefits, and a better ‘ work-life balance.’ Kirby says the pandemic tested the company, that it made them stronger and reinsured the importance of keeping employees safe and happy.
“I couldn’t be prouder,” Kirby said. “Our employees and their safety are our number one priority and across the country, our teams did a great job.”
The growth in sales comes with growth in the company and its locations in Northeast Indiana. Its locations in Decatur, Kendallville, and Wabash the company is hiring.