Five Star Food Service Announces Historic Acquisition

Jan 05, 2021

Canteen’s largest franchise, Five Star Food Service, announced the acquisition of the highly regarded Owensboro-based franchise group, comprised of four operating companies including a coffee roaster and distributor. Canteen Service Company of Owensboro, Canteen Service Company of Kentuckiana, Derringer Food Group, and John Conti Coffee Company, operating collectively as Canteen’s third largest franchise, have joined Five Star through this transformative deal.

Enthusiasm abounds about the newly combined company noted by Five Star President and CEO Richard Kennedy, “What excites me the most about this event is that I believe we are combining two very similar organizations. Similar in values, similar in culture, and similar in our passion to service our customers. Our two companies have a history of collaborating on best practices, working through challenging situations, and making new introductions. We already have a history of making each other better.”

The acquisition expands the company’s reach into western Ohio, southern Indiana, and a majority of Kentucky with service in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus (Indiana), Louisville, Lexington, and Owensboro, among others. Furthermore, the breadth of business that comes to Five Star pushes the company to nearly 2,300 micro markets, over 30,000 vending machines, 15,000 coffee and water service locations, and over 60 cafeterias. The addition of John Conti Coffee Company – craft coffee roaster, specialty tea, and water producer – to Five Star’s portfolio adds a new service outlet and platform for company growth.

The transaction is especially noteworthy and significant to the local community in Owensboro, Kentucky. The former minority ownership group along with Five Star executives today cemented the legacy of the late and much-beloved former majority owner and community legend, Jack Wells, with the formation of The Jack T. Wells Charitable Trust – a wish of his upon his passing with benefit from the sale of his businesses. The trust will provide for those in need, specifically children, in the Owensboro community for decades to come. The group as well as Five Star’s non-profit foundation, Feeding the Future, made generous founding contributions to the trust.

“We feel deeply blessed with this opportunity to combine our two companies into an even better organization,” says Kennedy.

Micro market with beverage coolers and snacks

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