Benjamin Olewine III

Benjamin Olewine III

1921 -


Interview Length: 75 minutes

Interview Date: April 15, 2009

Interview Location: Sysco, 4000 Industrial Drive, Harrisburg, PA




The Olewine family dates back to the days when Harrisburg was still part of Lancaster County. Growing up on Green Street in the 1920s and '30s during the Great Depression, Ben Olewine III worked at his father's grocery store from the time he was six years old. Unemployment and hunger were rampant in Harrisburg, but Olewine's father provided food to anyone who needed it. The business grew to include trucking, specialty foods, and catering. Under Ben's management, it evolved into a wholesale grocery distributor that also sold to schools and restaurants. In the late 1940s, Olewine III consolidated the business into institutional entities and created the national, top-75 Olewine Distributors, which was sold to Sysco Foods in 1988. The family is synonymous with philanthropy in Harrisburg, funding projects such as Wildwood Park, the Olewine School of Culinary Arts at HACC, Bricco and Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.

18 Stories (See Ordered Story Set)