UniFirst Distribution was the first company to locate in Owensboro’s newest industrial park, MidAmerica Airpark. UniFirst constructed a 320,000 square foot state-of-the-art distribution facility with highly advanced efficiency systems and in-house personalized creation of emblems, embroidery, and screen printing. The distribution hub’s strategic location and innovative design allow for rapid deliveries and accurate order processing.
It all began with the Croatti familly in 1936 and The National Overall Dry Cleaning Company located in a converted horse barn in Boston, MA. The facility consisted of a single washing machine and a delivery truck. In 1937, the concept of uniform rental was introduced into the business. Aldo Croatti expanded the existing business facility and from 1947-1949 modernized and streamlined the Boston operations. The Uniform Rental and Service programs quickly became popular and became an innovative industry that was copied by other industry suppliers.
In 1951, the Croatti’s expanded their reach by acquiring a competitor, Interstate Uniform Service. Keeping the name, the company’s growth was accelerated. A third operation was established in 1956. From 1956 to 1966, more growth took place extending operations throughout New England to Pittsburgh, New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut. During this time, the Company became the first private industrial launderer to be granted a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to process nuclear contaminated garments.
In 1983 Interstate Uniform Service Corp. became public using stock symbol IUS. The company name changed to UniFirst Corporation in 1984 with stock symbol UNF. UniFirst acquired 12 competitors during the next 8 years, expanding into west coast markets. UniFirst moved its corporate headquarters to Wilmington, MA in 1987 and after more expansions, acquisitions and growth in U.S. and Canada. Ron Coatti became president of UniFirst in 1995.
By this time, UniFirst employed over 7,500 team partners who served over 100,000 customer locations in 45 states, Canada and Europe. Founder Aldo Croatti passed away in 2001. Expansion and growth continued and by 2010, UniFirst employed nearly 10,000 team partners at 200 sites, serving over 225,000 customers throughout North America and Europe.
UniFirst Chairman, President, and CEO Ron Croatti passed away in early 2017 after over 50 years with the company. The company had gone from $100 million to over $1.5 billion in annual revenue.
Unifirst continues to enjoy recognition as one of the largest work wear and textile service companies in the world.
There are two distribution centers and one is located in Owensboro, KY. Owensboro’s UniFirst Distribution opened the industry’s first most advanced, state-of-the-art facility with their location in Owensboro.
Source: UniFirst Corporation
Check out this interesting video of UniFirst’s Owensboro operations.