General Merchandise/HBC

Harbor Wholesale Acquires MTC Distributing

Companies will remain independently operated
Photograph courtesy of Harbor Wholesale

LACEY, Wash. — Independent distributor Harbor Wholesale has acquired MTC Distributing Co., Modesto, Calif.

The combined companies operate four distribution centers on the West Coast, servicing customers from the Canadian border to just north of Los Angeles. With more than $1 billion of collective purchasing power, Harbor and MTC will offer competitive programs and plan to reinvest in facilities, technology and solutions, the companies said.

MTC Distributing will remain independently operated in Modesto, with the current leadership team in place. Tom Eakin remains with the new company in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition and continued commitment to team members and customers.

“This is an incredible opportunity to bring our family companies together into the fourth generation and beyond, maintaining and enhancing the culture that’s made MTC and Harbor successful for a century,” said Justin Erickson, Harbor Foods’ CEO. “MTC celebrated 100 years in 2021, and Harbor will join it in 2023. We look forward to entering our next 100 years with an incredible team of industry professionals who share common values and a similar obsession with our customers’ success.”

“With the industry constantly evolving; we are taking the opportunity to bring two like-minded, independent companies together,” said Tom Eakin, CEO of MTC Distributing. “I trust Harbor to carry on the MTC legacy and provide the solutions our retail and foodservice customers need today and into the future. Harbor’s extensive experience in foodservice, branded programs, fresh foods and innovative marketing and technology will allow our incredible team to bring even greater value to our customers.”

In 1921, Herbert Eakin founded Modesto Tobacco Co. A little more than 10 years later, William, Herbert’s son, took over the business and renamed the company Modesto Tobacco and Candy. In 1986, William’s son, Tom Eakin, purchased the business. Tom renamed the company MTC Distributing to reflect the significant growth in various categories.

Founded in 1923, Harbor Wholesale serves more than 6,000 convenience stores, independent grocers and quick-serve restaurants (QSRs). Products include Harbor-owned brands held under Real Fresh Brands such as Mountain Fresh, Via Vita Pizza, Split Shift, Watertown Craft Roasted, Mein Street, and Skippers. Harbor Wholesale operates distribution centers in its Lacey, Wash., headquarters, as well as in Portland and Roseburg, Ore., and Modesto, Calif. Harbor Wholesale is a subsidiary of Harbor Foods.

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