Incorporated as St Johns Frozen Foods in 1949
Dr. Ronald F. Jackson started the company by renting frozen locker space to local restaurants. As he saw the need for food service products, he began adding product lines and selling them to restaurants in and around the St Augustine, Florida area. In 1994, after having started as the warehouse manager in 1963, Melvin McQuaig bought the company through the Employee Stock Option Program and guided it for more than 30 years. The market has grown in 75 years, and St Johns Food Service has grown with it to serve its customers from Jacksonville and the Beaches to Palatka and Palm Coast, remaining local at heart and in the way we do business. In 2022, entrepreneur Craig Smith, Managing Partner, a Jacksonville native and owner of the iconic Alhambra Theatre & Dining, became the new owner of St Johns Food Service. Craig is joined by his business partners, Joel Slotnick, Jeff McCusker, Bob Fleckenstein, Bill Barnett and Gary Smith.
Years serving you
Products in our warehouse
AVERAGE YEARS OF EMPLOYMENT
Rethinking Food Purveying
Soon to celebrate our 75th anniversary serving some of the greatest restaurants in the country, we’re proud of our heritage as one of the area’s most dependable food purveyors. We’re now ushering in a new era. Led by successful restaurateur and serial entrepreneur, Craig Smith, we’re celebrating the promise that “being local” means: responding to your needs when you need us and taking your business as personally as we take our own.
From the center of the plate to side dishes…
From the center of the plate items like steaks and seafood to the products that make them shine such as produce and fries, and the ingredients to make them all delicious, we will help you create an amazing culinary experience for your guests. We’ve got you covered with cutlery, napkins, gloves, cleaning products and all the rest.
Since 1949, St Johns Food Service has been (and remains) your local purveyor. The company has always been the go-to solution for your last-minute needs and in many cases even as a primary vendor. We may not always have the lowest prices (which doesn’t mean we won’t try), but we will be the most responsive, highest quality and easiest purveyor to do business with.
A note from Craig Smith
I’m Craig Smith, Managing Partner, and I am thrilled to be the new owner of St Johns Food Service. I want to start by thanking Melvin for his decades of service to this company – to the employees, to the community and to our customers. His shoes will be tough to fill, and I look forward to the challenge.
As the owner for the last 13 years of the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, which in itself is a 378-seat restaurant, and a customer of St Johns Food Service, I understand your needs. Like you, I take personally every plate that comes out of the kitchen and every complaint a guest might have. And like you, we succeed and fail on how quickly our suppliers can react to our ever-changing needs. Yes, price sometimes comes first, but knowing I have reliable, honest and agile vendors is just as important. When Melvin approached me to buy St Johns Food Services, I immediately thought, “Yeah, we can do this and even make it better.” So here we are.
You’ll start to see our new logo and website and our refreshed trucks on the road. You’ll see some of the faces you’ve gotten to know over decades of building strong relationships. You’ll see more of us in the community and more often. I know you’ll welcome me and our consultants as we visit with you over the next few months.
If there is anything at all you need and we can do better, please let me know. Email me directly by clicking here, and I will make sure you are taken care of. Make no mistake: we want to be your go-to purveyor for all your needs. For now, we’re going to learn about your business and how we can make it better.