Kevin S. Murphy, CEO and owner of Baldor Specialty Foods, died Jan. 31 at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. He was 58.
Murphy’s food career started at Balducci’s in Greenwich Village in the 1980s when he married Ria Balducci, daughter of owner Andrew Balducci. He was trained in every department, learning the food business from the ground up. He expanded and finally took over Balducci’s small wholesale division called “Baldor” in 1991.
He moved his new company to a tiny warehouse in Long Island City, Queens and ran the operation with one van and a couple of delivery trucks. Baldor grew incrementally from there. The next move was to a larger facility in Maspeth, Queens, where more staff and trucks were added. In 2000, he took over a large facility on Barry Street in the Bronx.
In 2007, Baldor took over an abandoned, city-owned warehouse in the South Bronx. It covers over 188,000 square feet and sits on seven acres. Murphy gutted the building, redesigned it and added dozens of trucks to service the tri-state area with fine specialty foods.
In 2006 Baldor Boston opened its doors in Chelsea, Mass. Baldor Boston is moving into a larger, newly constructed building slated to open next month. In 2012 Baldor opened a branch just outside of Washington, D.C.
Today the specialty food distributor delivers imported and domestic dairy, meats, seafood and produce throughout most of New England, all of the tri-state area and the mid-Atlantic region. Baldor employs more than 800 people and operates a fleet of more than 200 delivery trucks.
Viewing services were held Feb. 2. Murphy is survived by his mother Marilyn Murphy, brothers Thomas D. Murphy Jr. and Patrick Murphy, sister Sharon Triolo, and his son TJ Murphy and daughter-in-law Christine Murphy.