Officials of Delta Fresh Sales ceased operations at the Tifton, Ga., company on Sept. 6 and have not set a date for resuming regular business.
“We are not in active operations at this time. We are temporarily closed,” Chris Bloebaum, chief executive officer and co-owner, said Sept. 19. When asked if there is an anticipated reopening date Bloebaum said “not at this time.”
He also said an agreement between Delta and Weis-Buy Farms Inc., Fort Myers, Fla., regarding about $50,000 in outstanding payments “will be satisfied this month.”
Weis-Buy officials filed a federal court case against Delta Fresh Sales on Jan. 9 seeking payment under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act for three loads of watermelon it delivered to the Georgia company in October 2012.
Bloebaum and his wife Leslie, who is co-owner and senior vice president for Delta Fresh Sales, signed a consent agreement Jan. 23. They agreed to pay Weis-Buy $50,000 plus interest and legal fees.
Red Book Credit Services reports the company’s average time to pay vendors increased from less than 40 days in September 2012 to more than 70 days as of August this year.
Delta Fresh Sales Inc. was formed in 2004, according to the company website. However, information from Red Book shows the company was initially incorporated in 1988. In 1993 Paul Teague acquired the company and operated as its sole officer, according to Red Book records.
Teague was listed as a defendant and principal with Delta Fresh Sales in the suit filed by Weis-Buy Farms. Weis-Buy dismissed Teague as a defendant from the case in January. Also listed as defendants and Delta Fresh principals were Ellen Eaton, mother of Leslie Bloebaum, and Darbie and Shawn Avera.
Court records show the only remaining issues to be resolved in the case filed by Weis-Buy Farms is to determine if Eaton and the Avera couple are personally liable for Delta Fresh Sales PACA debts.