Babé Farms has joined Gold Coast Packing in a new 75,000-square-foot plant in Santa Maria, Calif., under the Fresh Venture Foods name.
Fresh Venture Foods processes orders for the partner grower-shippers, who maintain their separate identities. Gold Coast moved into the facility in December; Babé Farms followed Feb. 24.
The joint venture began in October 2011 as an effort by the two companies to consolidate scattered operations. They project it will result in a 50% increase in production.
“Both of our companies were working at capacity, in outdated facilities, on multiple sites,” Judy Lundberg, Babé Farms chief executive officer, said in a news release. “We had to do something and we decided to do it together.”
A second building phase is expected to boost capacity to 105,000 square feet and the number of truck bays from five to 10.
Current functions include receiving, cooling, cleaning, sorting and packaging value-added vegetable products. The plant runs two shifts six days weekly with 150 employees.
The joint effort aims at cost savings and reduced delivery times through consolidated loading, Ron Burk, Gold Coast chief executive officer, said in the release.
The building includes 8,000 square feet of office space.
Gold Coast Packing products include value-added broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, cilantro, spinach, parsley and customized packs aimed mostly at foodservice clients. In July, Gold Coast adopted a new logo.
Babé Farms offers specialty vegetables such as baby root varieties, baby cauliflower, specialty greens, baby lettuce heads and seasonal items for foodservice and retail.