Valley Food Service
An American Story
The year was 1969. Thirteen-year-old Steve Singleton began helping his neighbor distribute fresh French fries and hash browns to local restaurants. By the time he was in high school, Steve was running the route spanning Tulare through Delano. Then, when he was a sophomore at COS, a twist of fate forced Steve to choose between a promising baseball career and becoming the owner of his neighbor’s company, Valley Food Service. The decision was made, and at the tender age of nineteen, Steve was in business for himself!
In those days, the business consisted of a single truck and some rented freezer space. The product list was simple – fresh potato products. Oh, how things have changed! Today we occupy a thirty-thousand square foot warehouse in the Visalia Industrial Park, and run five routes daily serving seven counties in the Central San Joaquin Valley. We stock over 5000 items – fresh and frozen foods, canned items, paper goods, and cleaning supplies – and have access to thousands more! And yes! You can still get fresh hash browns from Valley Food Service!
Steve can’t do it by himself anymore, either. He pretty much stays in the office these days doing all of the purchasing and bid work. Sixteen employees run the routes, conduct sales, and handle the warehousing necessary to run the business. Since 1993 Valley Food Service has been a member of the Golbon Buying Group, a national cooperative consisting of 183 distributors and over 700 suppliers. Networking through this group has lead to an expanded customer base, including not only restaurants and fast food establishments, but schools, casinos, convenience stores, health care facilities, and correctional institutions as well.
Today Valley Food Service is a School Food Service Specialist. We currently deliver to over seventy school districts including Visalia Unified, Central Fresno Unified, Porterville City Schools, Tulare City Schools, Modesto School District, Madera School District, and Ceres School District. Valley Food Service is also authorized to distribute commodity products through many of our suppliers to eligible school districts. We sponsor two School Food Shows each year, one in January in Visalia, and one in August, the location of which roams throughout our school districts.