Sysco Nashville is a full service broadline distributor founded in 1859 on historic Second Avenue in Nashville Tennessee by two Irish brothers, one of whom was named Robert Orr. Using the prevailing delivery methods at that time, riverboat, train and horse-drawn wagon they started a dry goods business and named it Robert Orr & Company. Along with several grocery businesses in Nashville at that time, they survived the Civil War and during the decades leading up to the 1900's Robert Orr & Company proceeded to close competitors one at a time.
The company underwent an expansion starting around 1920 and continuing through the 30's that lead to the development of a signature line of products labeled Hermitage. The success of the Hermitage Brand line of canned goods and coffee, along with the addition of paper goods in 1929, would take the company to the forefront of foodservice distribution.
In 1952 the company moved to a new warehouse located at 901Sixth Avenue North. With Walton Cunningham Sr. as President, they were one of several companies that pioneered a new era in foodservice distribution. During the next decade Robert Orr & Company expanded product lines to include frozen vegetables and fruits, frozen seafood and meats, plastic and disposables and its own brand of cleaning products.
In 1966, under the guidance of Chairman Walton Cunningham Jr., President Glen Nelson and Executive Vice President John Cunningham, the next development of products and services included a restaurant design division and an equipment and small wares department. Now offering a complete line of products that would meet the needs of any restaurant, school, hospital or institution the phrase "One Stop Shop" became the slogan for the company.
In 1972 Robert Orr merged with a new foodservice company located in Houston, Texas called SYSCO and became Robert Orr SYSCO. Three years later the company made the third move in its long history to its current warehouse in west Nashville. With the new facility encompassing eighteen acres and over 425,000 square feet, fresh produce, meats and seafood were added to accommodate a growing customer base of over 4,000 located in three states.
In 2008, Robert Orr SYSCO became Sysco Nashville. "The Robert Orr name is legendary in this market and we will forever celebrate it in our heritage," said Nick Taras, president of Sysco Nashville. "As part of the new logo and tagline that we recently released, we are standardizing Sysco operating company names across North America in order to minimize potential confusion for our customers."
Today, Sysco Nashville services middle Tennessee as well as southern Kentucky. The mission of Sysco Nashville is to deliver customers what they want, when they want it and at a good price.
History of Sysco Corporation
In 1969, nine independent entrepreneurs in food marketing and distribution recognized the emergence of eating away from home as an industry with exciting growth potential. Simultaneously, as personal disposable income rose and more women entered the workforce, they recognized the growing complexity of the business, and an increasing demand for regional, and ultimately, national support from food purveyors as hotel, hospital and restaurant chains expanded. These companies merged to form SYSCO, a SYstems and Services COmpany. In October 2008 Sysco Corporation introduced a new logo and tagline, "Good things come from Sysco." The new logo, which replaces both the current cube and uppercase acronym images, highlights Sysco's commitment to quality food, beneficial partnerships, and sustainability across the food business spectrum. The new logo features a clean and fresh image, encompassing Sysco's name, logo and tagline in one element. A prominent feature of the logo is a green leaf in the letter "y" of Sysco. The leaf signifies qualify food, Sysco's industry, and the company's commitment to the environment and sustainability.
Sysco's philosophy then, and now, is to be a trusted supplier, providing foodservice customers with a broad product line consistently high in quality. Since our founding, Sysco has grown from an idea to a $37 billion food marketing organization, and is the largest marketer and distributor of foodservice products in America.
Operating from distribution facilities nationwide, the company provides its products and services to approximately 400,000 restaurants, lodging establishments, healthcare and educational facilities, hospitals and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Sysco's distribution network covers virtually the entire continental United States and includes all of its 180 largest cities as well as various markets in Canada. Sysco is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SYY.