Family-owned since 1955
Our Delicious Beginnings
In 1954, Earl August Sween found an ad in the Wall Street Journal for a Stewart Sandwich Franchise. In 1955, Earl closed the deal and started Stewart Sandwiches in Bloomington, Minnesota. From that humble start, the company expanded to Duluth, MN and then into Iowa, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana over the following decade. In 1967, the company moved to its current Eden Prairie location and opened a new 20,000-square-foot facility. This new facility meets USDA inspection where applicable.
Building the Sandwich Empire
As the company entered into the retail frozen sandwich business, Earl’s son, Tom E. Sween, joined the company and become president in 1974. Microwave ovens started showing up across the country throughout the 70s as traditional gas stations began offering more of a “convenience store” approach. In 1980, the relationship with Stewart Sandwiches ended and we became E.A. Sween Company. That same year, Deli Express® entered the market, followed three years later with our microwave popcorn line and, later, the country’s first lite microwave popcorn. Tom E. Sween took ownership in 1986.
Changing the Convenience Landscape
In 1992, E.A. Sween Company created the first Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) wedges. The following year, E.A. Sween developed the groundbreaking concept of Combined Distribution Centers (CDC). In 1997, Tom E.’s son, Tom H. Sween, joined the team. In 1998, the dream was born: to provide all “On the Go” Americans with a Deli Express® sandwich everyday! In 2001 Deli Express® was honored with the C-Store Vendor of the Year Award.
Today and Beyond
In 2010, Tom H. Sween became president/COO. In 2013, the company received the Minnesota Family Business Award and was featured in the Twin Cities Business magazine. In 2014, the company realigned its business from three units into multiple divisions, which include: Brand & Innovation, Sales, Distribution Solutions, Operations and Support Services. On April 20, 2017, a significant event occurred at the Board Meeting: the members of the board approved Tom E. Sween’s recommendation that Tom H. Sween take over as the chief executive officer (CEO) and owner of E.A. Sween Company. That means that E.A. Sween Company is a rarity: a third-generation, family-owned business that is still family-owned and successful.
E.A. Sween Company proudly makes over 70 million sandwiches each year, distributing them throughout the country via Wholesale, Direct Store Delivery (DSD) and Combined Distribution Centers (CDC).
Our Purpose, Spirit, and Vision
Seven values shape the culture at E.A. Sween Co. These values guide the organization and have made this a great place to work for more than 60 years.
We Value People Most of All
People are our most important asset. E.A. Sween Co. supports and appreciates every employee for the contribution they make to our overall success.
We Are Committed To Safety Everyday
Safety is important and something E.A. Sween Co. excels at. From our plant to our route delivery fleet and our offices, we strive for safety, constantly training and improving how we work.
We Welcome Constructive Straight Talk
Our culture supports constructive straight talk. E.A. Sween Co. values questions and conversations from our employees so we get to the heart of an issue and make the best decisions.
We Think Before We Do
E.A. Sween Co.’s success for the past 60+ years is founded on “thinking before doing.” Employees in every area take time to think about key aspects of every project. We use cross-functional discussions to solve problems and advance new opportunities.
We Serve Up Exceptional Experiences
Earl Sween, our founder, set the tone for how we work. It all boils down to the Golden Rule. What you give to each other comes back to you in multiples. We want every interaction, both internal and external, to be positive because that’s how we’d want to be treated.
We Invest In Our Company To Thrive
Each and every person at E.A. Sween Co. invests their time and talents in the company. And in the spirit of the Golden Rule, we in turn make investments in the company’s people, products and facilities to promote growth in the future.
We Enjoy What We Do
E.A. Sween Co. employees truly enjoy what they do. Our employee tenure spans new hires to individuals who have been here 10, 20, even 30+ years. Our culture reinforces the family-owned commitment, instilling family values into how we work and how we value each and every team member.
Tom E. Sween
Tom H. Sween
As corporate citizens, E.A. Sween Company considers it an honor to give back to the community. We are committed to making all charitable contributions as meaningful as possible by aligning with good causes and creating deeper commitments.
The charities supported have gone through a review process that studies both their need and financial stewardship, as well as our ability to make an impact.