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

fresh direct tour

  • 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. 

Read more: An Uber Eats executive reveals the company’s surprising strategy for moving beyond taxi rides

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:

SEE ALSO: How Whole Foods went from a hippie natural foods store to Amazon’s $13.7 billion grocery weapon

You’ve probably seen FreshDirect’s trucks zipping around New York City. The company is based out of a sprawling South Bronx campus.

I swung by the headquarters on a brisk day in late March.

The food delivery business moved to this 400,000-square-foot facility from its original base in Long Island City, Queens, in 2018.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider