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).