Our Foundation

Our company traces its roots and values back eighty years to its origins in Ithaca, New York, where Martin Wells began his coin machine business. As his company evolved from amusements to novelties and food vending machines, the commitment to quality and integrity associated with knowing all of your customers in a small town became imbedded in the company’s business culture.

As the second and third generation of the family evolved the company into dining and catering services, their Ithaca origins again manifested themselves in the family’s multi-generational connection to Ithaca and specifically to Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Their education in the world’s foremost hospitality program inspired the family to reimagine the typical industry approach, shifting from identifying as “retailers” in what was then known as “institutional foodservice” and “vending,” to a service-oriented, hospitality approach.

As the company has expanded nationally to become one of the 20 largest foodservice companies in the United States, its original values have remained: American is still family-owned and operated by the third-generation of the Wells family, with the same commitment to integrity, great service and customer relationships that their grandfather instilled nearly a century ago.

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