WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — U.S. Foods is expanding its reach in Northern and Central New York.

In early July, the company acquired Renzi Foodservice, a local food distributor based in Watertown, New York. This sealed U.S. Foods’ move into Upstate New York.

“We currently have two other distribution facilities in the state. But we haven’t had a presence here in Central New York,” General Manager Joe Downey said. “This will allow us to service up and down the Central New York border to better service our customers and their growing needs.”

As a part of U.S. Foods’ purchase of Renzi, the company promised local growth.

This officially began on August 21 when it broke ground on an expansion project at Renzi’s Watertown distribution center.

This project will add roughly 10,000 square feet of warehouse space, eight refrigerated loading dock bays and new employment opportunities.

According to Downey, U.S. Foods is hiring in almost every department at the Watertown facility.

“This expansion will bring us up to over 300 employees here at Renzi Foodservice,” he explained. “The more that we employ here it will help the community as well. We’re super excited as we build and expand that we will create more opportunities for the individuals here in Watertown and the surrounding area.”

Until the acquisition, Renzi distributed products to 92% of New York State, including remote areas of the North Country.

Downey said that the company plans to continue this legacy.

“We’re committed to the Watertown area,” he expressed. “So this will allow us to really expand. There’s going to be an enhanced offering for our customer base as we move through the timeline of our transition to U.S. Foods, as well as Renzi and what they brought to the table for over 46 years. So we’re excited about that combination and there’ll be more to come for the customer base.”

The ongoing expansion project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024.