The history of E.A. Sween Company
dates back to 1955 when Earl A. Sween purchased the Minnesota franchise for Stewart Sandwiches. The company was known then as Stewart In-Fra-Red Commissary of Minnesota (In-Fra-Red because of the "pre-microwave" infrared ovens). Sween had one territory selling over 7,000 sandwiches a month. Three months later, volume had more than doubled.
Growth continued, and by the early 60's, Earl's franchise had become the second largest in the system. Sales expanded to Iowa and Nebraska with the arrival of Jack Rosengren, who became the company's #1 salesperson–later, General Manager and then President
Meanwhile, Earl's son, Thomas E. Sween joined the company at age 14. After college he returned full-time in sales and general management. In 1974, Tom E. Sween was named President when Jack Rosengren retired. Through the 70's additional territories were added–Kansas, the Dakotas, Montana, St. Louis, and in Washington and California.
To facilitate even greater growth, the franchise agreement with Stewart Sandwiches was ended in 1980. The Company became independent and launched the Deli Express® brand. The new company established a more professional organization and management structure. It ambitiously pursued new products and effective promotions, as well as geographic expansion. Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Utah, Idaho and Nevada were all added in the 1980's.
In 1993, E.A. Sween developed another business all together. In conjunction with Southland Corporation, operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, Combined Distribution Centers (CDC) was formed to provide direct distribution of fresh products. CDC has now grown to service 1,000 plus 7-Eleven stores daily in a variety of locations.
With quality Deli Express® sandwiches, smart and aggressive marketing, and the continuing success of CDC, E.A. Sween Company is a major factor in the convenience store industry.
In 2001 Deli Express® was elected to the Convenience Store Industry Supplier Hall of Fame. Learn More
Today, our Direct Store Delivery system covers 26 states in the central United States and services over 15,000 locations. Additionally, Deli Express® sandwiches are sold through convenience store wholesalers in all parts of the country making our sandwiches available from Maine to California.