After 13 years in the food industry, Greg Carlston saw a need for a different type of distribution in the Pacific Northwest. He felt there was a niche market to sell to jobbers or distributors in smaller quantities, helping them maximize their cash flow while increasing turns. This concept also benefited the manufacturers, who were able to get products to distributors in smaller quantities without lowering their own minimums. In 1983, Greg and Melody Carlston started Alpine Food Distributing, Inc. with their first product line: french fries. They quickly established Alpine as a key redistributor; and with Greg’s reputation and contacts in the food industry, he had no problem getting business.
The company started doing business in a small, leased warehouse that was mostly freezer space. Their core product line remained french fries but they began to add other ready to eat frozen food lines to their product offering. Five years after opening, they were profitable enough to purchase their first building and almost doubled the size of their operation. Two years later they were devastated by a four alarm fire which wiped out their building and all of its contents. Not to be deterred by this set-back, they quickly leased another space and got back to business within a day. They also began plans to rebuild at their former location.
After operating for several years in the Portland market they decided to expand, and in 1990 opened their first remote sales office in Seattle, Washington. This led to explosive growth, and soon they were shopping for a larger building to purchase. In 1995 the company moved to the east side of Portland into a building that was more than five times bigger than they had ever had before, allowing them to continue to grow in all areas of redistribution.
In 1999 they purchased a privately held transportation company and formed Alpine Carriers to further expand their customer service capabilities. This allowed them to maximize resources and provide value added services to vendors.
They purchased Distributive Resources, Inc. in April of 2000, once again expanding the Alpine family. This purchase allows Alpine to provide ingredients directly to manufacturers to use in making their products, while also giving Alpine a retail presence with national grocers.
Today we are located in Milwaukie, Oregon in a state of the art 280,000 square foot facility. We have sales offices in Oregon, Washington and California. We distribute to nine different states and have 115 employees. Although the company continues to grow and expand, we have not forgotten where we came from. We continue to be a family-owned company that is passionate about the food business.