Home / Technology / FreshDirect beat Amazon to the grocery-delivery business by years. Take a look inside its sprawling warehouse.

FreshDirect beat Amazon to the grocery-delivery business by years. Take a look inside its sprawling warehouse.

Áine Cain / Business Insider
  • FreshDirect, the online grocery service, operates a massive “food hive” in the South Bronx of New York City.
  • This base incorporates both the company’s corporate headquarters and a bustling distribution center.
  • I toured the facility, which features an intricate sorting system and highly sensitive temperature controls to keep the produce as fresh as possible.

FreshDirect’s Bronx base isn’t your average corporate headquarters. It’s what a lot of executives at the online grocer call a “food hive,” built specifically to facilitate the company’s mission of quickly delivering fresh food to consumers.

‘We’ve built what we think is the perfect food hive,” CEO David McInerney told Business Insider. “We’ve got the infrastructure in place now, to grow.”

Founded in 1999, FreshDirect currently offers next-day delivery of food to New York City, parts of its surrounding counties, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. That’s over a decade before Amazon began flirting with the grocery business, and before retailers like Walmart and Target began adopting a more omnichannel approach.

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The company partners with local “food partners” to work out the shortest supply chain possible, and it employs other tricks in its distribution center to keep its groceries as fresh as possible.

I went on two tours around FreshDirect’s “food hive” a few months ago. One took me behind the scenes, into the inner workings of the company’s distribution center. And one, guided by McInerney, showcased the corporate office and FreshDirect’s foodie culture.

Here’s a look inside FreshDirect’s Bronx base:

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About Alfred Jackson

Alfred R. Jackson writes for Technology section in AmericaRichest.

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