Signifying its expansion outside of its New York, the Eastern Produce Council saw high attendance at its May 15 dinner meeting inside the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market.

Members swell Eastern Produce Council Philadelphia market meetingThe Short Hills, N.J.-based council chose the City of Brotherly Love to visit its year-old modern produce distribution terminal as well as benchmark the group’s membership expansion into Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, said council executive director John McAleavey.

“This is the first time in our 46 years of being an organization that we have had a meeting outside of the metropolitan New York area,” McAleavey said. “People weren’t leaving at the end, another good sign. People weren’t running out the front door but were hanging around. Everyone liked it and wants to come back to Philadelphia again.”

The 200 attendees also marked a record for the largest group hosted by the market, said Tad Thompson, the market’s business development manager.

To accommodate such a large group, the market put up tents inside its quarter mile-long shopping concourse to host the cocktail hour and dinner and protect the crowd from 50-degree ambient temperatures in the cold-chain controlled facility.

Sonny DiCrecchio, the market’s president and chief executive officer, welcomed participants and introduced speakers and guests. Council first vice president Paul Kneeland — vice president of produce, seafood and floral for Kings Super Markets Inc., Parsippany, N.J. — served as meeting moderator.

“We were thrilled that EPC’s membership was so supportive of this event,” DiCrecchio said in a news release. “It was phenomenal participation from those who live in the New York metropolitan area as well as down-state New Jersey. We hope to host the EPC again very soon.”