Springfield-based M.J. Kellner Foodservice, a 102-year-old business serving the commercial food service industry in six states, will celebrate its transition from a family-owned to an employee-owned business with a fresh brand identity. A special ceremony will be held on Friday, Aug. 26, at the company’s headquarters, 5700 International Parkway.
The ceremony will also recognize Bill Kellner, the final Kellner family member to own the century-old business and the man who made possible the company’s employee ownership.
“We are looking toward the future with a fun, fresh new look while staying true to our core values of exceptional customer service and quality products,” said M.J. Kellner President Dave Rikas. “As employee-owners, we are committed to building upon our strong company tradition while taking the business forward for current and future generations of customers and employees.”
M.J. Kellner Foodservice was founded in 1920 by Bill Kellner’s grandfather, Maurice J. Kellner, as a wholesale sugar distributor. Kellner’s father, H.J. “Hack” Kellner, assumed operations in 1945 following his WWII service and expanded the business into one of the leading contract food service suppliers in the country. Third-generation owner Bill Kellner has headed the company since 1995, making it a multi-dimensional food service, chemical, beverage, equipment and supply distributorship.
The firm’s 96 employees became the company owners in 2021 when Bill Kellner sold his remaining interest in the company to the employees and took on the role of chairman of the board.
The new M.J. Kellner logo, featuring the tagline “exceeding all of your food service needs,” will be unveiled on one of the company’s product delivery semi-trailers as well as the warehouse facility on Aug. 26. A proclamation from Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder that honors Bill Kellner will be presented at that time. The public is invited to attend the 9:45 a.m. ceremony and logo unveiling.