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WELCOME TO MLCO

Your global home for in-flight and catering products, logistics and supply chain management. Privately held and fiercely independent for four generations.
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SERVICES

With MLCo, you’re in good company. We serve the world’s leading airlines and caterers, always exceeding expectations. Inside, you’re sure to find the resources you require.
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DISTRIBUTION CENTERS

Since 1928, MLCo has expanded its reach. With warehouses and satellite locations worldwide, you always have the home-court advantage.
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HISTORY

The best way to learn about a person, a place, oreven a business, is to learn its history — how it came to be. Like many family-owned businesses, MLCo comes from humble beginnings. Discover our story.

YOUR PARTNER IN SUCCESS

With a long, steady history in a sometimes turbulent industry, MLCo is a privately held company founded in 1928. Private ownership means we take each business relationship personally. We’re all equally accountable for your success — and empowered to make decisions to support your business goals.

For four generations, we’ve forged relationships with the world’s leading airlines. Our resources, transportation infrastructure, and expanding e-commerce initiatives help you more efficiently manage your airline supplies.

MLCo is listed and rated 5A1 by Dun & Bradstreet — generally regarded as the strongest rating assigned by D&B.

1928

Humble beginnings

After dropping out of high school to earn money so he could help his family, Leonard Simon founded the company in 1928. At that time, the company was known as Simon Products and was located on Van Buren Street in the Printers Row area of downtown Chicago.

1930s

Delving into food service

Simon Products initially started manufacturing binders, which they sold primarily to the printing industry. Eventually, Simon Products expanded their bindery business by venturing into food service and making menu binders for local restaurants.

1940s

Expanding and diversifying

As they immersed themselves in the food service industry, Simon Products formed a separate company, Midwest Cup & Supply, as an offshoot of their menu binder business.

New name, same vision
Midwest Cup & Supply sold equipment and supplies directly to restaurants. In the early 1940s, the company’s name was changed to Michael Lewis Company, although the Simon Products name still endures.

Ruth Simon, Leonard Simon’s spouse joined the company and for 40 years until her retirement in 1984 performed multiple functions including operations, finance, accounting and office management forming a team with her husband who was tasked with all sales and marketing responsibilities.

1950s

Making progress with fast food

Michael Lewis Company capitalized on America’s fast food boom by stocking paper cups, napkins, straws, ketchup, syrups and other industry essentials servicing a number of national fast food restaurant chains.

A new home
The company grew steadily and purchased its first building in Chicago at 3211 W. Grand in 1954. A second building was soon purchased around the corner at 943 N. Spaulding to allow for expanded distribution.

1960s

Continuous growth

One great success followed another, and in 1964, Michael Lewis Company moved to a new 40,000-square-foot, build-to-suit facility in Melrose Park, Illinois.

In memoriam
While the new location was well-suited for business, it was not accessible by public transportation, and a young shipping clerk named Louise could no longer get to work via bus. Louise feared she would lose her job. But instead, Leonard Simon enrolled this valued employee in driving school and helped her buy a car. The shipping department never missed a beat, and Louise went on to serve the company with devotion for more than 60 years. Sadly, she passed away in 2010. She will be forever missed by the Michael Lewis family and appreciated for the lasting impression she left on the company.

Taking to the skies: entering the world of airline logistics
Later in 1964, Leonard Simon’s wife, Ruth, was answering the phone in Customer Service when she received a request for custom-molded liquor stir sticks from the food service director at Ozark Airlines. That inquiry led to Michael Lewis Company’s expansion into the local service airline industry, including business with North Central Airlines, Allegheny Airlines and Piedmont Airlines.

1970s

Increased food service offerings

Michael Lewis Company bought a used 120-square-foot grocery store cooler in the early 1970s. The cooler was placed in the Melrose Park warehouse, and thus they began their foray into perishables, storing chilled and frozen foods.

1980s

Crossing state lines

In 1981, Michael Lewis Company’s longtime client North Central Airlines (now a part of Delta) informed them that they needed a supplier with storage facilities in Arizona. In response, the company rented a 10,000-square-foot warehouse and staffed it with three employees. The Arizona facility has since expanded to include a 100,000-square-foot distribution center in Phoenix. With plans for the future, a purchase has been made of a 30-acre property in Goodyear, Arizona (near Phoenix) for a new larger facility to replace our older building.

1990s

Expanding into Europe

In 1994, Michael Lewis Company won a competitive bid on airline business in Europe and opened its first warehouse in the United Kingdom, followed by the opening of another warehouse in Breda, Netherlands. These facilities continue to provide the company with easy access to major highways and the largest ports in Europe.

2001

Further expansion into South America

Michael Lewis Company began operating a warehouse in Buenos Aires in 2001 to better serve airlines and caterers across Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

2002

Building an Internet presence

Michael Lewis Company ushered in the 21st century by launching a secure, simple-to-use online system that provides a complete view of the company’s supply chain. Capabilities include order placement, tracking and delivery information, projections, product catalogs, custom reports, access to warehouse inventories and more.

2004

Spreading throughout America

In the mid-2000s, Michael Lewis Company achieved greater efficiency and customer outreach when it added five satellite warehouses throughout the United States. Spread across Colorado, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Nevada, these locations allow Michael Lewis Company to more effectively meet customer needs, particularly with high-volume dry goods.

2009

On the move

After completing construction in 2008, Michael Lewis Company moved to its new World Headquarters in McCook, Illinois—a stone’s throw away from Chicago Midway International Airport and major interstate highways.

Built for complete service
The Michael Lewis Company World Headquarters has it all, from a full-scale test kitchen to expansive meeting rooms fit for wine tastings, conferences, corporate trainings and more. The south wall of the 400,000-square-foot dry goods warehouse is removable, designed for future expansion onto 18 acres of additional property.

2010

Always improving service offerings

Michael Lewis Company became a Foreign-Trade Zone in 2010. In Bond and Wine Distribution services are available throughout warehouse facilities worldwide, enabling the company’s global customers to reap greater financial rewards.

Today

Today and onward

While Michael Lewis Company reflects on 86 years of growth and achievement, they also look forward to a future of service and success alongside their airline partners.

From a fledgling bindery business to a global airline logistics and supply chain management firm with 250 employees, Michael Lewis Company continues to satisfy customers throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific.

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GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS, AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Our new state-of-the-art McCook Distribution Center shines a light on our commitment to sustainability. Designed to meet LEED green building standards, our facility features the latest in energy efficient design.

From advanced electric forklift charging stations to high-performance ammonia refrigeration and high-speed doors that keep cold rooms cool, MLCo is committed to old-fashioned service, support and values in the most modern and efficient of settings.

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UNMATCHED EXPERTISE

Logistics and supply chain management for the airline industry are equal parts art and science. Over the course of 85 years, we’ve mastered both. Whether it’s better forecasting, flawless order monitoring or understanding ever-changing cycles, there’s nothing too complex for MLCo, and very little we haven’t seen before.

Our unmatched expertise and personal touch extends across all of our specialties:

  • Warehousing and distribution
  • Customized kit and cart packing
  • Electronic warehouse management
  • Web-based ordering system
  • Balancing inventories
  • Custom programs
  • In Bond/FTZ services
  • Packaging systems
  • Drayage programs
  • Beverage programs
  • Cabin service programs
  • Refurbishing and cleaning
  • Wine management and distribution
  • Storing rotables
  • Storing high heat plastics
  • Storing non-woven products

FROZEN AND REFRIGERATED

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MLCo procedures ensure that the integrity of frozen and refrigerated items are consistent with manufacturer specifications and meet or exceed our customers’ expectations. Appropriate HACCP procedures are followed as they apply to MLCo products.
  • MLCo Temping Procedures
  • Physical Characteristics (Temperatures may be ok) – Frozen Products
  • Physical Characteristics (Temperatures may be ok) – Refrigerated Products
  • Product Check-In and Put-Away















 

 

RECEIVING INFORMATION

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McCook Receiving
Mon-Fri: 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Phone: 708-688-2200 ext. 3439
Phoenix Receiving
Mon-Fri: 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Phone: 602-243-3947
  • Appointments
  • Dock Area
  • Floor-Loaded Deliveries
  • ‘Lumper’ Statement
  • Nonstandard Pallets
  • Loads Shifted in Transit
  • Damaged Products
  • Driver Responsibility
  • OS&D – Over or Short
  • OS&D – Damaged
  • OS&D – Temperature
  • Pallet Exchange

 

 

 

 

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Distribution Centers
Satellite Locations

When you reach out to MLCo, rest assured you’ll find solutions tailored to your needs. How can we help you better achieve your goals?

MLCo World Headquarters:

8900 W. 50th Street
McCook, IL 60525-6005
Telephone: 708-688-2200
Fax: 708-688-2880