A St. Louis-based corporate food-service company has merged with a Kansas City-based food-service provider to form a new business that, in the future, will be employee owned.
St. Louis-based Elite Cuisine, which provides corporate dining and catering services, has merged with Superior Vend-All, a Kansas City-based company that provides company break-room vending machine and micro-market services. The combined company will be branded Apex Restaurant and Market Solutions Inc., according to a press release issued by Elite Cuisine founder Jim Schweppe and brothers Brian and Greg Porembski, founders of Superior Vend-All.
The three owners will manage the combined company, which will have corporate offices in both St. Louis and Kansas City, as co-CEOs, officials said. Schweppe will focus on finances and human resources with Brian Porembski on business development and Greg Porembski handling daily operations, according to a press release. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Elite Cuisine, founded in 2004, provides catering and in-office micro markets, cafes, and coffee and vending services for corporate clients. Founded in 1997, Superior Vend-All is Kansas City’s largest independent provider of in-office micro markets and vending services. So-called micro markets provide snack items and grab-and-go fresh foods, sometimes offering prepared hot foods for purchase, operating much like self-service convenience stores.
The now-merged companies will maintain their current offices – Elite Cuisine’s at 314 Marshall Road in Valley Park and Superior Vend-All’s offices at 3707 E. 14th St. in Kansas City and at 2309 W. Main St. in Sedalia, Missouri.
Officials said Apex is the largest independently owned corporate food service company based in Missouri, with more than 250 micro markets located in office and manufacturing facilities across the state. Elite Cuisine’s clients currently include Burns & McDonnell, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Maritz and World Wide Technology. Superior Vend-All clients include Amazon, Smithfield Foods, Stanley Black & Decker and Tyson Foods.
Apex will immediately add an office in Columbia, Missouri, to handle clients including 3M and Good Day Farms, officials said.
Apex currently has about 200 employees – 120 from Elite Cuisine and 80 from Superior Vend-All, officials said. The company expects to hire about 20 more workers in the next year.
Apex’s ownership will evolve into an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) within the next 18 months, officials said.
“Our consolidation was intentionally designed to transition into an employee-owned organization, one where we can reward our dedicated team members for their hard work,” Schweppe said in a press release. “It’s an exciting time for all of us because our employees have the chance to own part of a company that now has even bigger growth potential.”
“This is a strategic, value-added merger between two strong companies that can now provide additional resources to our clients,” Brian Porembski said in a statement. “By creating this employee-owned company, which has ownership roots in both St. Louis and Kansas City, we believe we are ultimately offering our clients located throughout Missouri the very best food service value for their employees.”