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History

Creating history was Oscar O. Ettline, who opened a full-service grocery store called Ettline Grocery Company at 29 West Philadelphia Street in York, Pennsylvania in 1889. Mr. Ettline’s first store focused on the needs of his customers selling dishes, pots, pans, gardening tools and assorted groceries.

In 1937, Oscar O. Ettline passed away, leaving the leadership of Ettline to his second wife Mable Workinger-Ettline who later married Gordon Knaub. Ettline Grocery Company made the short move to 21 West Philadelphia Street, where it served the increasing needs of our customers until the early 1960s.

Ettline Grocery Company prospered in the decades following World War II supported by growth found at that time in York County and South Central Pennsylvania.

In the early 1960s, the growth of Ettline Grocery Company based on service and quality resulted in the purchase of additional land on West Philadelphia Street. The Knaub’s purchased the sites of Harris Clothing Store and C. H. Stallman Candy Company. At this time, the general offices of our company moved back to our original store site founded by Oscar O. Ettline at 29 West Philadelphia Street.

Ettline Grocery Company operated out of six buildings on the north side of Philadelphia Street. An inside dock was available at the 31 West Philadelphia Street building providing faster accommodation of loading and unloading of trucks. In 1967, Mable Ettline-Knaub took the sole reigns of the company after the death of her second husband, Gordon Knaub. She named Roy E. Drawbaugh as the General Manager when her health began to decline.

After 80 years, the original company buildings on West Pennsylvania Street were demolished by new owner, George Stallman. The property became a Parking Lot for Stallman employees and visitors. Ettline moved to a leased warehouse on Mulberry & Hay Street in York as a temporary location.

Stallman built a 43,000 square foot at 525 State Street, York, PA. While under renovation, it burned to the ground. During the re-construction process, he erected the first freezer at the State Street warehouse and began marketing frozen food products in 1970. This modern facility was completed in 1972 equipped with inside loading docks; rail road siding, freezer and refrigeration facilities plus it accommodated our offices.

In 1973, Ettline Foods Corporation added fresh produce to our line of food service items along with our frozen and refrigerated products, dry goods, paper products and chemical products.

Fulfilling the need to establish a brand identification that linked our company to the products we sold, Ettline Foods Corporation became one of the early members of the Nugget Distributors of America Cooperative. The Nugget label identified Ettline Foods as a purveyor of consistently high quality products allowing us to purchase a broad array of goods and increase our purchasing power via a national distribution organization. This allowed us to achieve our vision of growth and prosperity in our market.

In 1977, Mr. Stallman sold Ettline Foods Corporation to a group led by L. Doyle Ankum and three long-time employees Roy E. Drawbaugh, Richard L. Luckenbaugh and Rolland E. Williams. Using their combined knowledge of the industry, they tripled Ettline Foods size over the next 12 years.

Our frozen storage capacity was substantially increased in 1982 with the addition of a freezer and expansion of refrigerated storage space to meet the growing needs of our clients.

Ettline Foods Corporation acquired the business of a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania supplier Louis H. Lehrman in 1983 allowing expansion of our business north of York County in addition to expanding our product mix.

Ettline Foods Corporation was sold in 1989 to a group led by Martin J. Whelan and members of the Whelan family. In 2004, the company established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Ettline Foods is now not only independent but also employee owned.

Today, Ettline has most recently changed their image to give it a fresh up-to-date look with a new slogan “Experience The Advantage”. The biggest advantage to doing business with Ettline today; it is an employee owned company where each individual cares about how the product is bought, stored, delivered; every aspect of doing business on a daily basis impacts every customer. In addition, Ettline has invested in a waste oil recycling company to offer their customers another great earth friendly solution for fryer waste oil, Planet Fry.

The Ettline facility is now 104,000 square feet, housing 8500 products with access to over 100,000 items, serving six states. The quality products, superior service, excellent solutions and dedicated caring staff will continue to assist in the Ettline success for many years to come!

Ettline…"Experience The Advantage"