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Atlanta is key to Nickey Gregory Co.’s success

When Nickey Gregory was looking for a home base as he established his own produce distribution company in 2000, the Atlanta area was the logical choice.

“Nickey is from here. He was born and raised on this Atlanta market, so this is kind of all he’s ever known,” said Andrew Scott, director of marketing and business development for Nickey Gregory Co., based in Forest Park, GA. “We’re a family-run business and he’s the leader of that. It’s because of Nickey that we’re all here and continue to grow.”

When he was younger, Gregory worked for several wholesalers in the Atlanta area, including General Produce, before establishing his own firm. Many of the company’s employees today also have experience in the area, and that’s helped make Nickey Gregory Co. a major player in Atlanta.

IMG 9076 “We sell to a lot of foodservice companies, so we’re real strong in foodservice versus retail,” Scott said. “We do have a good chunk of retail business where we sell to retailers in their distribution centers. The same goes with foodservice— we sell to a lot of distribution centers. We just do not do much direct store drop; that’s just not our model.”

Instead, he said, the company works with distribution centers and customer warehouses, adding that the approach is working in this current climate.

“Foodservice is really growing,” Scott said. “The economy is doing well so people are eating out, you can see it in our business.”

Nickey Gregory Co.’s growth has led to it opening a cross-dock redistribution center in White Springs, FL, about 60 miles west of Jacksonville, near the 1-10 and 1-75 split. Scott said the company has been looking for space there for cross-dock and redistribution and to satisfy hours of service laws, such as EDLP.

“We put that warehouse down there for that function, to find drivers in that area, shoveling loads down there and fresh drivers taking them out and redelivering loads,” Scott said. “We’re not storing much down there at all, it’s mainly cross-dock redistribution and we’ll eventually have product down there in the future.”

Another successful initiative for Nickey Gregory Co. has been its processing division, which has been operating for about a year and a half now.

“We’re doing a lot of fresh-cut processing under our Family Fresh Food banner,” Scott said.

But it’s working in Atlanta that has really driven the company’s success. Scott calls the city the “Capital of the Southeast” with one of the world’s busiest airports, a growing economy with chain stores like Lidl, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s opening locations there, and trucking companies of all sizes setting up yards in Atlanta.

“It’s a town that produces and consumes a lot,” Scott said. “Everybody knows where Atlanta is and you can cover a lot of ground out here, a lot of states. We go to 10 states overnight out of Atlanta, so we cover a pretty good footprint too.”

Nickey Gregory Co. is showing its commitment to the Atlanta area by adding space, which it will start using on the first day of 2020.

“We’re moving into a larger warehouse because we have three warehouses here in the Atlanta market now so we’re going to consolidate and get into a bigger building, which will be a lot more efficient for us,” Scott said. “We’re kind of cramped right now, but we definitely want to be in this market. This market is alive and well.”