Coming from the restaurant equipment industry, Bill Miles knew that the industry could be difficult to understand. Where do you go to buy foodservice equipment? Where do you look for information? How can you demo a certain product before buying it?
It was these types of questions that prompted Miles to found MarkeTeam Foodservice in 1968. The company was founded “to provide quality foodservice equipment solutions to restaurants, schools, universities, healthcare organizations, correctional facilities and other relative food service operations,” said Laci Anderson, marketing/inside sales with MarkeTeam Foodservice. “We work closely with operators to help them find the right solutions. We work with dealers and consultants to specify new jobs and remodels. We work with foodservice industry professionals throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii and British Columbia.”
When Vancouver-based MarkeTeam Foodservice was first founded more than 50 years ago, it was under the name The Bill Miles Co. Bill’s son Dan began learning about business and the foodservice industry by working part time during high school. In 1983, Dan joined the company full time and worked his way up to company president.
Over the years, Anderson said the company has evolved, including the renaming of the business to MarkeTeam Foodservice to reflect the team management philosophy. She said the company currently has 12 employees to date, and one-third of the employees are family members – Dan Miles as company president; Cindy Miles as the lead inside sales manager; Riley Miles as the territory manager for Oregon, Idaho and Montana; and Spencer Miles as the territory manager for Alaska and Washington.
“Working with family is challenging and rewarding,” Anderson said. “It allows the Miles (family) to take pride in representing the family name and the ability to build something and make it their own. Despite the accomplished feeling of running a family business, sometimes the togetherness brings on challenges. It can be difficult to separate family life and business, but at the end of the day, the Miles wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Although Bill first started the business in his garage in California and successfully represented one factory, over time he took on new manufacturers to represent and moved from California to Washington. Now, Anderson said MarkeTeam Foodservice’s name has become a well recognized and respected major firm in the foodservice industry, representing more than 25 manufacturers in the territory they cover.
Anderson said a couple of things that set MarkeTeam Foodservice apart from other companies in the foodservice industry include that they are forward thinking and emphasize team management.
“Each person on the team is a decision maker and has a voice,” Anderson said. “Being a smaller, family owned company, each of our employees make a significant impact on an individual basis while continuing to work towards the common goals of the company. Our professional and knowledgeable outside sales staff – many who are CFSP and ServSafe certified – aggressively cover our market and are continuously involved in local food service industry chapters.”
“Our inside sales staff have over 60 years of industry experience and not only provide exceptional support to the outside sales force, but to our customers as well,” Anderson continued. “Each inside team member has their own area of expertise from quotations, to marketing, to our warehouse. In addition to supporting our customer base, our inside sales team provides daily assistance to our manufacturers and helps in the administration and logistical support for our multi-unit accounts.”
Anderson said MarkeTeam Foodservice continues to be successful in the community because the company earned a reputation for its dependability, integrity and quality customer service right from the beginning.
“What was once a one-man operation in a garage is now a fully staffed office and warehouse incorporating, sales, customer service, quotations, marketing, accounting and warehouse services daily,” Anderson said. “MarkeTeam Foodservice has grown but has the same values we started with: Dedication to provide the best information to our dealers and end users to help them make their foodservice equipment decisions.”
MarkeTeam Foodservice was founded by Bill Miles in 1968. The company first started out in his garage in California.