A new company for Durant will be changing the work culture of the community, officials say.
WebstaurantStore is opening in a building at 2011 W. Arkansas St.
Officials say it is the largest online supplier of food service equipment and supplies, offering more than 180,000 items on their site. The company says it prides itself on having the lowest prices on the web, fast shipping times, internally produced product content, and friendly customer service. The e-commerce company launched its site in 2004 as a new venture from the business leaders of Clark Associates. Clark Associates is a family owned business that has been around for more than 40 years. Both companies are based out of Lancaster, Penn.
Caleb Clugston, operations manager for the Durant facility, said this is the sixth distribution center in the company’s network. He anticipates hiring up to 80 people through the fourth quarter of this year.
“What brings us to Durant, Oklahoma, is opening up another distribution center,” Clugston said. “From here, we’ll primarily serve the Texas and midwest market.”
He anticipates they will start filling the entire facility the week of July 17, a process that will take approximately eight weeks.
“The only other major construction inside this facility is our conveyor system that will run throughout the entire operation, and that is slated to be installed mid-July coinciding with our receiving,” he said.
Clugston said they will be hiring 30-40 individuals through the end of this month to get the distribution center off the ground.
Rick Roy will be the long-term operations manager after he has been trained by Clugston. Roy is looking forward to managing the distribution center.
“This a fantastic opportunity from the ground level to get this facility on its feet, and grow and expand,” Roy said.
Tommy Kramer, executive director of the Durant Industrial Authority, said WebstaurantStore is a “hallmark” company for Durant that will eventually create 200 new jobs. They’ve also upped the pay scale for this area with pay starting at $13.50 per hour. He said WebstaurantStore is a leader in restaurant supplies all over the U.S. with its six distribution centers to move their products throughout the south, southwest and midwest.
He said the company’s culture is new to the Durant community and that they have a “foster-employee” culture that takes great pride in its employees.
Kramer credited “Team Durant,” composed of local individuals and entities, for bringing a new industry to Durant.
“Team Durant worked very closely with the Durant Industrial Authority to help them make this multi-million dollar investment in our community,” Kramer said. “This facility’s 350,000 square feet, and when they’re fully loaded with their four shifts and 200 employees, they will just bring a really new culture to our community from the standpoint of pay and benefits. It’s a very relaxed-type work environment. It’s a culture that they foster throughout all of their facilities. We’re on top of the world with this company being here. I mean, this is good stuff.”
Clugston said, “We are tasked with creating a culture that will thrive, one where we’re mentoring and developing our hourly associates or even our management team to be better.”
He said the company fosters civic-minded employees when they’re outside the work environment.
WebstaurantStore wants employees who are entrepreneurial-minded and forward-thinking who will challenge someone with solutions to improve issues, according to Clugston.
Clugston said the break rooms will have things such as an arcade game, pinball machine, cable television and free popcorn and soda. Other benefits will be available for employees such as reimbursement for gym fees. The company will also have catered meals and fun events.
“Along with our culture, we really want to make it an enjoyable place to work,” Clugston said.
To apply for a WebstaurantStore job, visit www.webstaurantstore.com. Public computers are available for use at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center & Library.
Contact Matt Swearengin at 634-2160 or email@example.com.