About - The story behind Somerset Industries

The story behind Somerset Industries.


Somerset Industries displays the ingenuity of two men who grew up in the food business â€กฑ Jay Shrager and Alan Breslow. Both natives of Philadelphia, each was born into a family business that focused on food. Before forming Somerset Industries, Shrager presided over Louis Shrager & Sons and the former Somerset company, a business started by his great-grandfather, a Russian immigrant who sold coffee, tea and spices in the food distribution area called Dock Street, near the Philadelphia waterfront. Shrager’s father, Alvin, then took over and formed the former Somerset company of dry distribution of food products. Shrager worked along side with his father for over 30 years.

Alan Breslow’s first exposure to the food trade came at his father’s side, working in the family’s butcher shop, which had been started by his grandfather. Shrager and Breslow joined forces in the late 1980s, forming Somerset Industries in 1993.

Both recognized that the growth of the restaurant industry â€กฐâ€กฐ where both had made careers â€กฐâ€กฐ was becoming saturated with competition. Before most people in the industry, they recognized that the number of prisons being built was growing and found at that time, an untapped market for distributing both dry and frozen food products to correctional facilities. This became the core of their business model. This business quickly grew and was named Somerset Industries in honor of one of Louis Shrager & Sons’ original locations. Ten years after forming 21st Century Foods and the original Somerset, Somerset Industries has customers â€กฑ across the US from Hawaii to Kuwait â€กฑ and is regarded as the leader in its field.

In day-to-day operations, Jay and Alan are joined by their wives, Carole and Andrea, respectively. Carole draws from her experience as an executive bookkeeper at one of Philadelphia’s top law firms to be the company’s chief financial officer, overseeing all financial aspects of the business. Andrea is in charge of the company’s frozen freight functions and customer billing.


Somerset Industries is your source for food service solutions. We are dedicated to helping customers save money on food that is nutritional and full of variety. As a wholesale food distributor, we specialize in providing dry, canned, and frozen products. With more than a century of experience behind us, we have built a network of food manufacturers and processors, from whom we purchase large lots of food. The food is wholesome and tasty, but it may represent an overrun. Or it may not meet certain standards for appearance, size, or uniformity. While it may not be suitable for the consumer market, it is in great demand for feeding large groups of people.

Somerset brings food and people together. We help our vendors recover profits not possible while feeding increasing populations and our customers keep their operating costs to a minimum.

Today, we have expanded our client base and geographic reach to operate warehousing, processing, and distribution centers in Liberal, Kansas and Spring House, PA. These locations, placed strategically nationwide, allow us to serve correctionals as well as corporate cafeterias, summer camps, hospitals, casinos, and any employee dining establishments. By situating ourselves within easy reach of our customers, we save our business partners valuable time and help them save money on transportation costs.

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