KY: Governor Beshear Announces Modern Distributors to Expand in Somerset, Build New Facility

16 May, 2011

Family-owned company to create 20 new jobs, invest nearly $1.4 million
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Gov. Steve Beshear today announced Modern Distributors, a full-line convenience store distributor, will expand its Somerset footprint, constructing a new 12,500 square-foot cooler-freezer facility. The expansion, which will allow the company to remain competitive in the wholesale grocery business, will result in 20 new jobs for the community.

“The expansion of Modern Distributors is a great success story of a homegrown Kentucky small business,” said Gov. Beshear. “Managed by three generations of one family, Modern Distributors continues to grow its operations, creating 20 additional jobs for Kentucky families. I congratulate them on their continued success and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Modern Distributors began its Somerset operation in 1965 as a small, family-owned vending company and has grown into an organization designed to serve the wholesale grocery, coffee/ beverage and foodservice needs of convenience stores. Known as “Team Modern,” the company currently has approximately 1,300 vending, coffee and wholesale customers and employs 179 people between its Somerset headquarters and satellite office in Louisville.

“The new cooler/freezer expansion will allow us to offer ice cream, other dairy products, a full line of food service products and fresh produce to our customer base, helping them be more competitive in their businesses,” said Jerry Ray, president of Modern Distributors. “As a convenience store wholesale supplier, this project is critical to our future growth and the expansion of our food service product offerings to our customers. The support from both the state and local community on this expansion has been tremendous. We believe this project will give our facility the capacity we need to grow and create jobs within our organization.”

The newly constructed facility, which will be located near the company’s existing site on West Columbia Street, is expected to be complete by mid July.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Modern Distributors for tax incentives up to $48,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. The incentive program allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing equipment.

“The support that state and local government provides through progressive incentive programs such as this is an important part of helping local businesses keep up with the changing economic climate of the 21st century,” said Sen. Vernie McGaha, of Russell Springs. “It is important we give our small business owners the tools they need to keep them around for years to come.”

“Family-owned businesses have formed the economic backbone of our Commonwealth and our country,” said Rep. Tommy Turner, of Somerset. “It is essential that we continue to invest in family-owned businesses and provide them the support they need to grow and prosper, and I applaud Modern Distributors for expanding their wholesale grocery business.”

“Pulaski County has had the good fortune to be the long-time home of Modern Distributors, a great family-owned and operated business, providing a lot of jobs for our citizens over the years,” said Barty Bullock, Pulaski County Judge Executive. “The owners and managers have always been great supporters of the community, and this $1 million-plus expansion solidifies their commitment to Pulaski County and its workforce. I congratulate Modern Distributors and hope for many more expansions in the future.”

“I’m extremely pleased about Modern Distributors’ expansion and investment in Somerset,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler. “As a locally owned company, Modern Distributors has employed hundreds of people and provided quality services to many companies. I want to thank Gov. Beshear and his economic development team, along with the Somerset/Pulaski County Industrial Foundation, for making this important expansion project possible in Somerset.”

For more information on Modern Distributors, visit

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at or follow on Twitter at

A detailed community profile for Somerset (Pulaski County) can be viewed at

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