Lancaster Foods Joins the Coastal Companies

LAUREL, Md.–The Coastal Companies announces today its acquisition of Lancaster Foods from Guest Services, Inc., a hospitality management company based in Fairfax, VA. Lancaster Foods, a leading retail produce distributor and processor, joins Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh and Hearn Kirkwood as subsidiaries of The Coastal Companies.

The addition of Lancaster Foods greatly enhances The Coastal Companies’ retail presence and expands Lancaster’s product offering to include grab-and-go, ready-to-eat and prepared foods. With this acquisition, The Coastal Companies becomes the preeminent resource for produce distribution, processing, and prepared foods on the East Coast.

“We are delighted to welcome Lancaster Foods to our family of companies,” said John Corso, CEO of The Coastal Companies. “Lancaster Foods shares our values of quality and service. This transaction pairs Lancaster’s leading position in retail with our leading position in foodservice to significantly expand The Coastal Companies’ market reach, sourcing and value-added capabilities.”

The Coastal Companies will continue to operate Lancaster Foods under its current brand name and from its existing facility in Jessup, MD. John Gates, President of Lancaster Foods, and his team will remain with the company and continue to lead the organization. In conjunction with this transaction, Gates joins The Coastal Companies Board of Directors and becomes a member of The Coastal Companies Executive Leadership Team.

“Lancaster and Coastal have emerged as leaders in their markets. We have shared values around people and relationships. We are excited to be joining The Coastal Companies,” said John Gates. “Together, our network of vendors and our portfolio of products and services will enable us to provide even greater value to our customers.”

With the addition of Lancaster, The Coastal Companies expands to four facilities, more than 650,000-square feet of cold storage and processing, and unmatched market reach stretching from Maine to Florida. Lancaster is located off of I-95 in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and near its sister companies Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh and Hearn Kirkwood. Over the coming year, overlapping retail and wholesale customer relationships will be harmonized while foodservice relationships will remain unchanged.

The Coastal Companies cites its focus on food, people, and relationships as the keys to its success.

“The company has grown because we take care of our customers, we take care of our people, and we invest in our business,” said Corso. “Lancaster Foods is a great strategic and cultural fit with The Coastal Companies. We look forward to partnering with John Gates and his team.”

About The Coastal Companies

Founded in 1992, The Coastal Companies is the preeminent source for produce distribution, processing, and prepared foods on the East Coast. The Coastal Companies and its subsidiaries—Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh, Hearn Kirkwood, and Lancaster Foods—offer a portfolio of products and services unmatched in the marketplace and in the industry. The company operates 650,000 square feet of refrigerated space across four facilities and has in-house logistics capabilities that provide unparalleled reach from Maine to Florida. The Coastal Companies Foundation structures the company’s community care and charitable giving initiatives. With an unwavering commitment to food, people, and relationships, The Coastal Companies has become an industry leader. Visit us at

About Lancaster Foods

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Jessup, Maryland, Lancaster Foods offers produce, organics, fresh-cut, and retail-ready fruits and vegetables for retail and wholesale customers. Lancaster Foods operates a 220,000-square-foot state-of-the-art distribution and processing center and a fleet of over 100 company-owned vehicles that run daily along the East Coast. The company has emerged as a leading buyer and shipper of fresh produce and has national reach. Visit us at