By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Dec 18, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Wisconsin will lose another locally owned food-based company by the end of 2015, according to information released by U.S. Foods this morning.

In a press release, Rosemont, Ill.-based U.S. Foods announced that it will be purchasing Dierks Foods, the family owned broadline foodservice distributor located in Waukesha.

Dierks – which serves a variety of restaurants, hotels, deli’s, caterers, schools and institutions in Milwaukee as well as customers throughout Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Upper Michigan and Eastern Minnesota – is currently one of the leading independent foodservice distributors in the region.

The company also has a long history which can be traced back to a retail grocery store purchased by Wesley, Gus and Ed Muehl in 1920. By the 1950s, the grocer began stocking an institutional food line to service local school districts, and by 1963, the family sold the grocery store and transitioned the business entirely to foodservice. Now in its third generation of family ownership, Dierks is known as "The Fresh Guys," and lauded for its selection of fresh meats, produce and vegetables from their Wisconsin-based headquarters.

At this time, U.S. Foods has announced that it will retain Dierks employees and will continue servicing customers throughout the area, from both its current distribution center in Menomonee Falls and the Dierks distribution center in Waukesha.

Thomas Muehl, one of the owners of Dierks, and Kevin Musser, CEO of Dierks, will also be joining U.S. Foods. Both will play integral roles in the transition of the business so that it is as seamless as possible for customers.

"U.S. Foods has a lot to offer both our customers and our employees," said Muehl. "I’m excited that the Dierks team will now be a part of this great company and for our customers to gain access to the expanded offering from US Foods that is sure to help them be even more successful."

The purchase, which is expected to close by Dec. 31, substantially strengthens U.S. Foods presence in the Upper Midwest.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.