Continuing a Lone Star state expansion, Brothers Produce Inc. has opened a Rio Grande Valley distribution branch.

The Houston-based foodservice distributor began working from a McAllen, Texas, cross-dock facility April 1.

In May, Brothers plans to begin distributing from an adjacent 20,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse, said Brent Erenwert, vice president.

Brothers plans to use the warehouse, which is expandable to 63,000 square feet, to serve as cold storage for Mexican produce, Erenwert said.

He said the company is transforming the facility into a Global Food Safety Initiative-certified operation.

The new facility joins other Texas locations.

“By having two big mother ships in Houston and Dallas, we will be able to channel a lot of products into the satellites and cover a wide range of mileage,” Erenwert said. “This nearly gives us full state of Texas coverage and will almost give us some of the biggest coverage of any foodservice distributor in the state as well as halfway through Louisiana.”

The McAllen operation allows Brothers Produce to distribute to customers in south, central, north and east Texas, the bulk of the state’s population, and to Lafayette, and Shreveport, La., Erenwert said.

Because many shippers favor the easier logistics provided by smaller storage operations, Erenwert said he sees regional demand for the cold storage service.

The company opened an Austin, Texas, location in September.

He attributes revenue growth to expanding coverage areas, and into more restaurant chain business.

Started in 1979, Brothers Produce distributes produce primarily to hotels, country clubs and other foodservice customers.

It sells about 20% of its products to retail customers, Erenwert said.

James Bos, general manager of the company’s Austin operation, oversees the McAllen facility.