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Arizona’s Family-Owned Shamrock Foods Company Celebrates 100 Years In Business

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“Our story may already be 100 years in the making, but we’re just getting started,”
Kent McCelland, President & CEO of Shamrock Foods

Known best by locals for the Shamrock Farms milk once delivered to doorsteps by milkmen, to today featuring a multitude of farm-fresh dairy products in grocery aisles and beyond, Shamrock Foods Company is celebrating 100 years as an Arizona business mainstay. The 100th celebration kicked off with an official State of Arizona Commendation, city of Phoenix proclamation and a 100,000-meal donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Beginning in 1922 in Tucson as a family dairy with 20 cows, a truck and a dream, the McClelland's entrepreneurial spirit grew Shamrock Foods Company into a recognized dairy innovator and leader in restaurant and foodservice distribution industry, while staying true to its roots as a family-held company.

“We’ve grown a lot since my Irish immigrant grandparents, W.T. and Winnifred McClelland, established Shamrock dairy, and the principles they set forth have stood the test of time,” said Kent McClelland, president and CEO of Shamrock Foods Company and third generation of McClelland family leadership. “It’s been an incredible first 100 years in business growing, innovating and supporting our communities, and I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

Innovation is how Shamrock has grown into a full family of companies, including Shamrock Farms – one of the largest family-owned and -operated dairies nationwide and Shamrock Foods – the largest independent foodservice distributor in the West.

From farm to shelf in just two days, Shamrock Farms offers a full portfolio of delicious on-the-go beverages as well as creams, cottage cheese, sour cream and seasonal favorites like its award-winning Eggnog – all of which start with Shamrock’s pure, fresh milk and have been perfected through a hands-on approach over three generations. With a herd of more than 20,000 cows, Shamrock continues to be the original, household name in Arizona.

“Arizona is ingrained in who we are and what we do. The community has been with us every step of the way, and we’re excited to celebrate this milestone together,” said McClelland.

In the last century, Shamrock Farms evolved milk beyond the traditional gallon, even creating entirely new categories like Rockin’ Protein, the first ready-to-drink milk-based protein beverage. Rockin’ Protein is a leading protein beverage in retail supermarkets and Shamrock Farms is the number one milk brand in quick serve restaurants nationwide and the number one dairy brand in its home state of Arizona. Its impressive portfolio of products can be found in nearly 100,000 locations nationwide, which include grocery and 56,000 quick serve restaurants.

Shamrock Foods offers a comprehensive portfolio of products including national and exclusive brands, with an extensive product line featuring fresh custom-cut meat, seafood, produce and dairy, as well as dry and frozen groceries, beverages, equipment and supplies. Shamrock Foods goes beyond delivery for customers by offering comprehensive business solutions and unique collaboration opportunities to help drive their growth.

“Entrepreneurialism is in our genes. We’ve gotten here by being nimble, focused, transparent and willing to take appropriate risks that lead to innovation and strategic growth,” said McClelland.

In honor of the McClelland family’s contributions to Arizona, Shamrock Foods Company received an official State of Arizona 100 Years of Shamrock Commendation on March 10. In addition, Shamrock Foods Company received an official City of Phoenix Proclamation declaring March 10 “100th Anniversary Shamrock Foods Day.” The Shamrock Foods Foundation will also make 100,000-meal donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, which Norman McClelland helped establish. This effort aligns with the company’s longstanding community pillars of faith, family, friends and freedom, and commitment to nourishing the community

The celebration continues with Shamrock Foods Company paying homage to its dairy roots by launching a limited-edition birthday cake flavored milk to be distributed to Arizona schools this spring. A variety of associate recognition activities are also planned to thank the company’s more than 5,000 employees for their dedication to the business in addition to engaging customer and partner promotions and events throughout 2022.

“Our goal for this year and beyond is to show our appreciation and gratitude to our family of associates, communities, customers, suppliers and partners for making Shamrock what it is today,” said McClelland.

Strategic growth continues to be a big driver for the company. Shamrock Foods is outpacing the foodservice industry in market share and Shamrock Farms is paving the way with fresh ideas and premium products that drive people to the dairy case.

“Our story may already be 100 years in the making, but we’re just getting started,” said McClelland.

For more information, please visit www.shamrockfoods.com.

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About Shamrock Foods Company

Shamrock Foods Company specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of quality food and food-related products through a family of companies including Shamrock Foods – one of the top 10 food service distributors, and Shamrock Farms – one of the largest milk companies in the country. Founded 100 years ago with 20 cows, a truck and a dream, Shamrock has grown into a national leader serving customers coast to coast. Three generations later, Shamrock Foods Company is still family-owned and remains committed to The Shamrock Way: treating associates like family and customers and suppliers like friends. For more information, visit www.shamrockfoods.com.

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