Our History

It all started because of family

Our story is not just about our love of food. It’s also about a family that is deeply passionate about wholesome food that nourishes the body and mind while nurturing the spirit.

Elmer Whitcomb

Elmer Whitcomb, Founder

Where It All Began...

It all began in 1979 when Elmer and Gina Whitcomb purchased a pair of restaurants in Garden City, New York. At the age of 52, Elmer gave up a successful career as a mechanical engineer, cashed in all his life savings and, with his wife, set out to start a family business they could leave as a legacy to their nine children. 

Gina Whitcomb-Daly

Over The Years...

Over the years, Whitsons has grown from those small family restaurants to become the 16th largest food service management company and the 8th largest K-12 food service operator in the United States today. We pride ourselves on being leaders in providing school lunch services, prepared meal services, residential meal services, emergency services and other contracted food services. But Whitsons’ story is just beginning.  Elmer’s legacy lives on as third-generation Whitcombs join the ranks and the Whitsons “extended family” of team members continues to grow each year. 

Where We Are Today...

Headquartered on Long Island, New York, Whitsons Culinary Group is among the region’s largest and most innovative food service companies. In August, 2021, Whitsons entered into a new and exciting partnership with GenNx360, a private equity firm focused on investing in companies with proven and sustainable business models in expanding industries with the objective of accelerating growth. This partnership will provide new opportunities for our customers and team members, allowing us to better serve our customers by offering new and innovative products and services well into the future. Our Simply Rooted® food philosophy continues to drive our future and connects us to our past. This same philosophy that made our family meals so uplifting generations ago, nourishes our customers and consumers today.