The Coastal Companies Welcomes Hearn Kirkwood into its Portfolio

LAUREL, Md.–The Coastal Companies, the Mid-Atlantic’s leading regional produce distributor and processor of fresh fruits and vegetables, announces today its acquisition of Hearn Kirkwood – a company with a strong history in food distribution and processing, and known for its extensive line of innovative prepared foods.

“We are excited to have Hearn Kirkwood join our family of companies,” says John Corso, CEO of The Coastal Companies. “The addition of Hearn Kirkwood greatly enhances our portfolio of prepared and ready to eat products and enables us to enter new and exciting markets.”

With the Hearn Kirkwood acquisition, The Coastal Companies expands its capabilities and diversifies its product offering, adding grab-and-go items such as sandwiches, wraps, salads, and snack trays all designed to meet consumer demand for food that is fresh, healthy and convenient.

Hearn Kirkwood will join Coastal Sunbelt Produce and East Coast Fresh as subsidiaries of The Coastal Companies. Each will have its own focus:

  • Hearn Kirkwood – grab-and-go, ready to eat, prepared foods
  • Coastal Sunbelt Produce – perishable distribution
  • East Coast Fresh – fresh cut produce, salsas, organics

Together, The Coastal Companies will offer a portfolio of products and services unmatched in its marketplace. In conjunction with the acquisition, Coastal Sunbelt Produce will also join the Pro*Act network and will step into Hearn Kirkwood’s role as the regional Pro*Act distributor for Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia.

For John Reichlin, President of Hearn Kirkwood, becoming a part of The Coastal Companies means opportunity. “We are excited to be joining The Coastal Companies,” states Reichlin. “Our strength lies in producing and crafting innovative food products. The Coastal Companies’ network is extensive. Joining Coastal will enable us to accelerate our growth.” Post close, Reichlin will remain President of Hearn Kirkwood and will report to John Corso.

Operationally, Hearn Kirkwood will remain based at its Value Added facility in Jessup Maryland where The Coastal Companies will continue to invest capital and support growth. Hearn Kirkwood will continue to produce its grab-and-go line and serve its specialty pre-cut produce customers from the Jessup facility. Operations at the Hearn Kirkwood distribution center in Hanover Maryland will be phased out and consolidated into The Coastal Companies facility in nearby Laurel. During this transition, The Coastal Companies plans to absorb the majority of the Hearn Kirkwood team. The integration of the facility will take place over several months in a planned transition designed to minimize any impact to customers.

“The Coastal Companies has grown because we take care of our customers, we take care of our people and we invest in our business,” states Corso. He adds, “Hearn Kirkwood is a strong complement to our existing businesses and a great strategic fit for our organization. We look forward to investing in John and the team at Hearn Kirkwood as they continue to create great products to meet the needs of their customers.”

About The Coastal Companies

Founded in 1992, The Coastal Companies has emerged as the leading supplier of produce and dairy in the Mid-Atlantic and a leading regional processor of fruits and vegetables. With the addition of Hearn Kirkwood, The Coastal Companies has further expanded its capabilities in prepared foods, ready to eat products, and grab-and-go. The company and its subsidiaries – Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh, and Hearn Kirkwood – operate facilities in Baltimore/Washington and greater Richmond. Through a fleet of 200 trucks, The Coastal Companies delivers daily to foodservice customers and major retailers along the East Coast. In 2014, The Coastal Companies Foundation was formed to further structure The Coastal Companies’ history of giving. With a commitment to food safety, quality, service, sustainability, and staff development, The Coastal Companies has established itself as an industry leader. Please visit to learn more.

About Hearn Kirkwood

Founded in 1946, Hearn Kirkwood has a 73-year history as a supplier of perishable products, cut produce, prepared foods and grab-and-go products. The company specializes in producing and crafting innovative food items, such as ready to serve sandwiches, wraps, salads, and snacks. Its customers include grocery stores, retailers, institutions, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools and convention centers. Hearn Kirkwood is a ‘Founding Member’ of Pro*Act LLC., a North American network of fresh produce distributors established in 1991, dedicated to providing consistency, food safety, higher quality and service to customers. Additional information about Hearn Kirkwood is available at