As it looks ahead to the next generation of company leaders, Cedarville, N.J.-based Nardelli Bros. Inc. is also in the midst of major upgrades to its packinghouses and offices.
The company upgraded its loading facility at its Vineland, N.J., location to make it fully enclosed, said Bill Nardelli, president.
Also in Vineland is a new office, which gives employees more room, Nardelli said, and has a new computer system that’s increased the company’s traceability capabilities, Nardelli said.
Nardelli Bros. also is increasing the loading capacity at its Cedarville headquarters, and upgrading its packing equipment.
The upgrades come at about the time a new generation of Nardellis begins working at the family company.
Bill Nardelli Jr. joined Nardelli Bros. this spring full-time after graduating from the University of Delaware, his father said.
Academically speaking, the younger Nardelli, who has already logged many hours at the family business, is almost perfectly equipped for his new job, which will encompass sales and grower relations.
He majored in plant and soil science and agricultural marketing, and minored in economics, according to the elder Nardelli.
“He enjoyed selling and buying, and he’s good in finances,” Nardelli said.
“I’m hoping for some help in that regard.”
Technology is another area where Nardelli — who admits to a phobia of e-mail, Twitter, etc. — hopes Bill Jr. can lend a hand.
“I’m a dinosaur and proud of it,” he said.
“He enjoys it. He’ll bring the company up into the 2000s.”
While Bill Jr. could be categorized as more of an “inside” guy, his younger brother, James, loves to be out in the fields, Nardelli said.
A high school senior, James Nardelli is the president of New Jersey’s chapter of Future Farmers of America.
Next year he will enter the same program his brother studied in at Delaware, Nardelli said.
Referencing the Delaware mascot, Nardelli refers to his sons and himself as “two Blue Hens and one old rooster.”
After college, James “will definitely be coming here,” his dad said.
“He loves to farm, and he wants to expand (Nardellis Bros.),” he said.
“He’d be farming half of New Jersey if I let him.”
That’s not exactly the Nardelli Bros. way, however, Nardelli said.
Steady does it
“Slow, sustainable growth — that’s what my father taught me,” he said.
“We’ve always been conservative, and it’s worked for us.”
Family has always been central to Nardelli Bros., whether the employees have the last name Nardelli or not.
The company’s harvesting and shipping operations are run by three brothers, Jose, Omar and Crispin Perez, all of whom have “come up through the ranks” at the company, he said.
Veterans like Mahlon Orr, Dennis Bassetti and Mike Wilson also are important members of the Nardelli “family,” Nardelli said.
While Nardelli has always been comfortable being in charge, he sees a time when he cedes some of his responsibilities to future leaders of the company.
“I’ve never been a guy to sit in the backseat and let someone else drive, but I see the need to let go of the reins a bit,” he said.