Millard founder Larry A. Larsen did not envision running a cold storage operation when, in 1962, he built an 80,000-square-foot facility in Millard, Nebraska (now part of Omaha). He merely intended to lease the facility to a couple of local businessmen.
But when the businessmen’s operation failed after less than a year, Larsen found himself with a huge facility on his hands – and he needed to figure out what to do with it.
Larsen saw an opportunity to take advantage of the booming meat industry, and he turned the facility into a public cold storage warehouse – serving the needs of beef and pork producers who needed a reliable and well-operated facility for their products. Although Larsen had only eight employees, his commitment to quality combined with his first-rate building and equipment to make the venture an instant success.
With success came greater demand, and the original facility began a series of expansions – 13 in all – that would ultimately bring its size to 400,000 square feet. Expansion also saw the company enter new localities, with its second facility opening in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska, followed by a third in 1979 in DesMoines, Iowa.
Customers’ continued positive response to Millard’s offerings set the stage for an aggressive enhancement of both capacity and capabilities in the 1980s. Millard soon began serving the vegetable industry, as well as the Mexican import and export markets.
At the same time, the company’s national footprint expanded, with new facilities opening in:
- Denison, Iowa
- Friona, Texas
- Iowa City, Iowa
- Grand Island, Nebraska
- Dodge City, Kansas
- Batavia, Illinois
- McAllen, Texas
- Greeley, Colorado
- A second facility in Omaha, Nebraska.
The McAllen facility was especially crucial to the company’s work with the Mexico market. Millard’s service to the vegetable industry, meanwhile, was enhanced in 1990 by a new facility in El Paso, Texas.
As these new markets embraced Millard’s superior performance, further opportunities presented themselves. In 1991, the company expanded its offerings to serve the poultry industry, with new facilities in Attalla, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi opening to support that new market.
The following year, Millard entered the national distribution arena with the opening of its distribution center in Kansas City, Kansas. This began the establishment of what has become a fully established national distribution network, with facilities in:
- Mira Loma, California
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Chicago, Illinois
- Dallas, Texas
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Centralia, Washington.
This network is designed to meet the logistics needs of major food service and retail distribution companies throughout the United States.
The late 1990s and the early 2000s saw additional expansion, with new facilities in Ottumwa, Iowa; Louisville, Kentucky; Streetsboro, Ohio; Gaffney, South Carolina; Statesville, North Carolina; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Manteca, California and Tremonton, Utah.
Millard became an international company with the opening of its Brampton, Ontario (Canada) facility, and opened its first international port facility in Mobile, Alabama in 2005.
Millard stands today as the second-largest refrigerated warehouse and distribution company in the United States. All along, the company has remained committed to constructing first-class facilities, and using them to deliver high-quality, reliable, value-added services.
We look confidently toward a future in which our exceptional service, expanded processing capabilities, cutting-edge technology and unparalleled customer service will lead to further growth, expansion and success.