In 1948, the General Electric Plant on 9th Street in Owensboro. Kentucky, secured the services of a new candy vendor, Canteen Service of Evansville, Indiana. Evansville Canteen owner Carl Hedin and his two associates saw a lot of potential in the Owensboro area. and Jim Smith was hired two years later to service the candy machines at the General Electric plant.
When Smith was not servicing the GE accounts, he was out knocking on doors trying to secure new business. Within a year, two accounts that were more prestigious were booked - Tell City Chair Company and the General Electric plant in Tell City. Constant growth in the Owensboro area led to a decision in 1953 for it to become an independent branch, still under the primary ownership of Hedin. Until this time, the Smith home in Owensboro served as the branch offices. Smith 's wife, Lida, received product into the basement of their home through the coal chute. In 1954, office and warehouse space on Hanning Lane were leased. Lum Cummings purchased the business in 1956 as Canteen continued its growth in providing service to regional businesses and industries. To accommodate the flourishing business, another move was made in 1958, this time to 33 Plum St. Fifteen years later, Canteen Service of Owensboro Inc. was on the move again, this time to 314 Ewing Road.
Jerry H. Haase, arrived in Owensboro in late summer 1976. Haase, a native of Indianapolis, took over the reins of a 17-employee business that was suffering due to competition from local and regional venders. Purchasing a struggling company on Friday the 13th (August 13. 1976) would be too much a gamble even for the most hardcore risk-taker, but instead of getting discouraged. Haase rolled up his sleeves and went to work with a steely determination to build a successful business. He went to customers and asked them to give him a chance. a chance to prove the Canteen Service Company of Owensboro could, and would, deliver a service that was truly second to none.
Existing and prospective customers believed in the business, and Canteen delivered on the promise to provide top-notch products and service.
The Jack Wells Era
In June 2010, Jerry Haase passed away and Owensboro/Louisville entrepreneur Jack Wells purchased the Canteen franchise eight months later. The Wells partnership groups includes long time Canteen veterans (President Gary Schroader; Executive Vice President Keith Sharber; and Division President Keith Survant) was determined to grow and to build upon the integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and customer centric philosophies. Since August 2011, Canteen has grown tremendously, more than doubling its geographic area and now providing services to 116 Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee counties. Currently operating with a 99 percent customer retention rate, we provide food and beverage service for more than 500 ,000 customers daily and employ nearly 700 team members.
In August 2014, the Wells partnership group purchased john conti Coffee Company, and we proudly roast more than 2 million pounds of coffee annually and recently launched our very own single-cup coffee options. Our company offers vending, office refreshments, dining, catering, corrections and senior nutrition programs in a five-state area. The Wells group has continued the tradition of providing high-quality service while growing at an exponential rate.
Please see our service coverage map, and you'll Find:
- 2,350 full-line vending customers45 business/industrial dining centers
- 5,000 office refreshment customers
- john conti Coffee Company
- Nearly 350 micromarkets
- 8 educational meal programs
- 5 adult day cares
- 2 correctional commissary -secured delivery solutions
- 1 correctional Food Service program
We would like to thank you for placing your trust in our company. You will be impressed with Canteen's service. We take pride every day in serving you and all of our customers .