Dietz & Watson Recovering Well After Devastating Fire At Delanco, NJ Depot
Dietz & Watson, the iconic Philadelphia-based deli manufacturer, had to swallow some tough news over the long Labor Day weekend. Its 266,000 square foot primary distribution center in Delanco, NJ was burned beyond repair. This was no ordinary fire, but a blaze of mammoth size – 11 alarms were rung in which about 50 neighboring fire companies were called in and involved approximately 200 firefighters. Fortunately, nobody was hurt at the depot which was built in 2007 and employs 130 people, all of whom have all been moved to other D&W facilities, primarily to the main plant on Tacony Street in Philadelphia. The cause of the fire is as yet undetermined. Louis Eni, CEO of Dietz & Watson and one of the classiest people in any business, expressed concern about the safety of his people and expressed his gratitude to the firefighters who fought the big blaze, which originally broke out on Sunday, September 1 at 1:30 p.m. and wasn’t contained for more than 24 hours. Eni noted: “We will absolutely have to rebuild. The Delanco facility was the main warehouse for D&W and it also housed a third party logistics cold storage facility. That has also been destroyed. The office was not destroyed, so they are salvaging paperwork, computers, etc. and bringing them back to Philadelphia. The entire company has stepped up to the plate and everyone is working together to keep the company going. What is most important now is to get a sense of normalcy back. We are working 24/7 until we get all inventory levels back to normal.” He added that “the outpouring of support has been incredible from all sectors of the industry.” From a trade perspective, Dietz & Watson shipped its first order on Tuesday morning, September 3. The Philly driver/salesmen/jobbers were also on the street on September 3 with product serving customers. In addition, all tractor/trailers are being loaded from the main plant in Philadelphia. The West Coast shipments went out just before the Labor Day holiday and they were heavier than usual (due to holiday demand), and the intention was to ship to the West Coast again closer to the weekend of September 7-8. The company’s manufacturing plant in Baltimore and its Greenville, SC warehouse are being used as satellite distribution centers.