Heeren Bros. Inc. now has its headquarters under the same roof with packing and distribution operations at a new $22 million facility in Alpine Township, Mich.
The family-owned company celebrated the opening Dec. 11 with tours for customers, according to a news release. Previously its headquarters was in Grand Rapids and it had two packing and storage facilities and distribution centers in central and Western Michigan.
Features at the new location include 15 controlled-atmosphere rooms, new color- and defect-sorting packing and grading lines, energy-saving refrigeration equipment, and an employee workout facility.
When the company announced plans for the facility, chief executive officer Hal Roy said it would provide better energy efficiency and make it easier to maintain food safety standards. He also said it would make it easier for the company to tap into new markets for its apple packing operations, partly because it increases storage capacity by 19%.
Heeren Bros. manages more than 1,500 acres of orchards, represents more than 75 Michigan growers and packs and sells more than 20% of all fresh apples grown in Michigan, according to the company.