HERNANDO, Miss. — Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves paid a visit to DeSoto County Monday for the grand opening of one of the largest warehouses in the state.

Associated Wholesale Grocers is ready to open its distribution hub in Hernando. Governor Tate Reeves cut the ribbon on the state-of-the-art facility Monday morning.

“This is a big deal for Mississippi. It is a big deal for DeSoto County and a big deal for this entire region,” said Gov. Reeves.

It is the largest building in DeSoto County at over 900,000-square-feet. The mostly automated distribution hub will save money for AWG members due to robots doing most of the sorting work. The new facility is adding 79 jobs for a total of nearly 600 in DeSoto County.

“These people all go on lunch and supper breaks and go to places nearby to eat. People buying their gas here. All the trucks leaving here are stopping to gas up at our local stations. So it is a multiplier that’s affecting everyone,” said Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson.

The employees at this warehouse are different than what you typically think of when you think about factory workers.

“So it’s STEM jobs, it’s totally different than the traditional warehouse job where it’s that back-breaking, busting down pallets restacking 50-pound boxes all day long and running throughout a facility, machinery does that work for them,” said AWG President and CEO David Smith.

AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler of independently owned supermarkets, serving more than 1,100 member companies and more than 3,400 locations throughout 31 states.
The governor said their investment in Mississippi says a lot about the people of the state.

“Today speaks to a lot of good things about Mississippi but more than anything else it speaks the quality of the people and the quality of the workforce,” said Gov. Reeves.