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US Foods eyes Charleston for new Chef’Store location |

US Foods eyes Charleston for new Chef’Store location

A huge player in the food distribution business is looking to expand to restaurant-rich Charleston.

Illinois-based US Foods Inc. has submitted plans to the city’s Planning Department to open one of its free-membership Chef’Store shops in a new 59,000-square-foot building at 1510 Meeting St. Road.

A spokeswoman confirmed the company, which saw $23 billion in revenues last year, is eyeing Charleston for a new facility but said nothing has been decided.

“We are only in discussion and evaluating opportunities,” Sara Matheu said.

With a tagline of “Keeping Kitchens Cooking,” the company offers four other Chef’Store locations across the nation, including Columbia and Charlotte. Others are in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Tempe, Ariz.

It also maintains distribution centers in more than 60 locations in 37 states, including sites in Fort Mill near Charlotte and Lexington near Columbia.

The wholesale, cash-and-carry food and restaurant supply outlet stocks pantry staples, commercial kitchen equipment and items such as serving trays and skillets.

Chef’Store focuses on serving chefs, restaurant owners, operators of institutional kitchens such as churches or schools, and the general public.

American Shipping Logistics Group, a holding company based in New Jersey, owns the 9-acre site under consideration between Algonquin Road and a self-storage facility, according to Charleston County property records.

“We have a contract for sale on the property,” said Chris Barber, vice president of business development for American Shipping.

On its website, US Foods’ says: “From the corner diner to the five-star steakhouse, US Foods has helped shape how people eat in America for more than five generations. With a team of more than 25,000 people spanning 60 locations, we serve independent and multi-unit foodservice operations including healthcare, hospitality, government and education institutions.”

Its product lineup spans more than 350,000 brands.

A representative of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association did not immediately respond for comment Monday about the proposed store’s possible impact on the industry.

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