Great Lakes Hotel Supply — Enabling the Food Industry’s Survival

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The Great Lakes Hotel Supply Company was our first stop, where we filmed one of eight episodes for the upcoming We Supply America docuseries. We were joined on-site by Tanya Baase from Infor, the Gold Sponsor for We Supply America.

Now that filming has wrapped, and we’re anticipating the premiere of the docuseries on July 8th, we thought we’d chat with Tanya to learn about some of her key takeaways from this shoot.

First, a little background…in Southfield, Michigan, the Great Lakes Hotel Supply Company was founded in 1933 and is a fourth-generation family-owned foodservice equipment dealer. During the past year, it has experienced unprecedented challenges. 

While many foodservice providers simply shut down during the COVID health crisis, many others had to remain open. Foodservice cannot just close its doors.  From hospital cafeterias to hotels housing traveling healthcare workers, this industry must keep going. Period. It must go on…and it did go on with the help of businesses like Great Lakes Hotel Supply Company. During the last year, their innovations and nimbleness enabled them to stay in business while helping others in their community affected by the COVID crisis.

Great Lakes Hotel Supply is an excellent example of a company that heeded the “noble call of distribution” during a highly challenging time, said Tanya.

They were dedicated to keeping foodservice operations up and running during the pandemic, supplying equipment and supplies across the entire country. They are the embodiment of the spirit of We Supply America. Despite the challenges, they kept distribution networks running. 

With food service, everything is time-sensitive. Equipment must be precise, and so must the distribution of that equipment. Businesses can fail overnight if these needs aren’t met. Great Lakes Hotel Supply made sure essential kitchens stayed up and running!

“Great Lakes Hotel Supply lives and breathes their core values every day,” said Tanya. It was evident with everyone we talked to and interacted with that they see co-workers as family and honestly care about their customers’ success. We could see this through their actions like:

  • They created a “Local Love” Go Fund Me page to support the Detroit area restaurant businesses and their staff who were struggling financially due to pandemic restrictions.
  • Additionally, the impact of COVID pushed them to take a look at their business and take steps to build resiliency.  They reimagined how they operate in order to adapt to the demands of this new environment.”

“It is truly inspiring to see the impact that a group can make where the people aren’t just doing a ‘job’ but are called to support each other and their community during what has been one of the most challenging years for business in America.

The community outreach and business success Great Lakes Hotel Supply Company has achieved is precisely the type of outcome we at Infor like to see. At Infor, we strive to help our customers innovate and build successful businesses by providing technology solutions to help them focus on what they need to do every day.

Our purpose-built solutions are explicitly created for distributors to help the industry embrace the disruption it has experienced over the last few years and remain competitive in a challenging environment. I was so happy to see the fulfillment of their hard work and look forward to renewed vigor as we emerge from the last year’s crisis,” Tanya stated.

Have you seen the trailer for the docuseries yet? You can view it here to get a taste of what’s coming up. 

Be sure to sign up for reminders of when our docuseries airs each week.  It premieres on July 8, just a few days away. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Drop me a line and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.  Email me at

Infor is proud to be a Sponsor-Partner of the We Supply America tour in partnership with Dirk Beveridge and UnleashWD. Infor is a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, with a special focus on wholesale distribution. We use data-driven insights to solve emerging industry challenges and provide our customers with the modern tools they need to innovate and transform their businesses.

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