After more than a dozen attempts at cutting a long piece of linen to commemorate the opening of Sysco Long Island, its president, Frank Recine, was finally able to slice through the resilient cloth using an oversized scissor with the Town of Islip’s logo emblazoned on the metal.
“Tough linen,” he joked.
Recine, who received a rousing applause from his new staff following his tough battle with white linen, is probably hoping deliveries in and out of his sprawling 420,000 square feet facility in Central Islip starting in July will go much smoother.
Sysco is the world’s largest food distributor in the world, according to Recine. It delivers a full-line of grocery to restaurants, hotels, country clubs and nursing homes.
“In terms of size, this facility is unparalleled by any other food-service provider on Long Island,” Recine said.
Central Islip was selected as the $92 million facility’s home because of its centralized location on the Island. Before that, deliveries on LI came from as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey.
Later this summer, it will be able to transport food throughout the Island more efficiently, and will also be hiring Long Islanders to work in the massive facility, which comes equipped with an 88,000-square-foot freezer. There’s also an enclosed 40,000-square-foot loading dock and an unrefrigerated warehouse that is approximately 120,000 square feet. The facility has 49 truck bays.
The food distributor said 250 new workers will be employed when operations begin July 30.
“If there’s anything that Long Islanders want more than anything, [it’s] jobs and food,” Town of Islip Supervisor Tom Croci said outside the facility.
Town of Islip Industrial Agency rewarded Sysco with $7.3 million in assistance. In turn, Sysco has already hired 235 workers, mostly Long Islanders, and generated 175 union jobs during construction.
“It was our goal to hire local and we hired the best of the best,” Recine said.