About Us

Lee Behrhorst and Jim Crawford 1985

Lee Behrhorst (Left) and Jim Crawford (Right)
Photo taken in 1985

Behrhorst and Crawford, Ltd. traces its roots to Henry Behrhorst, who began a food distribution business in 1885. He sold cheese from a horse and wagon to Pittsburgh retailers. In 1938, the company shifted its focus from grocery stores to a new market: the foodservice industry.

Under the leadership of Lee Behrhorst and Jim Crawford, the company grew rapidly in the 70s and 80s to become the largest foodservice distributor in the region. In 1987, we sold our foodservice distribution business (H.F. Behrhorst & Son, Inc.) to Kraft Foodservice.

Today, BCL is organized into three distribution operations: Pennsylvania, Virginia and Multi-Unit Solutions. Become a part of our family!

Our History

1885 – 1915

The company grows to be a small wholesaler, moving from horse and wagon to delivery trucks. Develops the Behrhorst Brand.

1915 – 1950

Second generation of leadership (Carl Behrhorst) takes control and expands product offerings and geographic reach. Acquires the Clover Farm Markets franchise in 1930 and develops stores across the mid-Atlantic region. Sells franchise in 1938 to concentrate on an emerging new market – supplying the world of hotels, restaurants and institutions.

1950 – 1965

Third generation (Dave and Kip Behrhorst) move the company into a strong local position with a distinctive product brand and sales representatives in six states. Our company is a founding member of UID/North American Foodservice, a predecessor of today’s UniPro Foodservice cooperative.

1965 – 1987

Massive growth explosion occurs under the leadership of Lee Behrhorst and Jim Crawford. Acquisitions include the John J. Heffernan Company, West Penn Grocers, S.J. Valenty Company and the Clark Paper Company. Sales grow from $3 million (1970) to $60 million (1987) with the development of a new distribution center in Bridgeville, and an expansion into protein, frozen foods, dairy, and non-foods. The company develops a large health care supply business and serves chain customers in a broad area. The company sold its foodservice operations to Kraft, Inc. in 1987.

1988 – 2008

Jim Crawford becomes president in 1988 and the company re-enters the food distribution business with the acquisitions of Clover Hill Food Products in 1994, the John Groves Company in 1995, Portion-Pak Foods in 1998, B&K Bakery Supply in 1999 and Murphy/NorthStar in 2000. These companies have been consolidated into the Pennsylvania distribution center and operate today as Clover Mountain Foods, LLC. We acquired Staunton Foods (2004), Winchester Foods (2005) and Premier Bakery Suppliers (2007). These companies have been consolidated into one Virginia distribution center operating today as Staunton Foods, LLC.

Behrhorst and Crawford Today

Frank Kellander (Back) and Jim Crawford (Front) Photo Taken in 2014
Frank Kellander (Back) and Jim Crawford (Front) Photo Taken in 2014

Frank Kellander becomes president in 2009, succeeding Jim Crawford who becomes Chairman. Seafood Direct (2011) is acquired and folded into our Pennsylvania distribution center.

In 2013 Clover Hill Foods becomes Clover Mountain Foods.

Today our company stocks over 8,000 products from 400 supplier partners in our two distribution centers. Each week we serve over 2,000 customer locations across nine states. Just as we did in 1885, we are looking for new ways to serve our loyal customers.