A warehouse addition at RLB Food Distributors LP is designed to expand product offerings to retailers throughout the Northeast.
In late January, the distributor relocated deli operations to a former cheese distribution building it renovated.
Fresh and fresh-cut produce accounts for about 75% of company sales and the new building frees space in its main operations to store and distribute more produce lines.
The extra capacity should also allow RLB to offer more local and organic produce, said Joe Granata, director of produce.
Relocating deli operations provides a better alternative to moving all operations, he said.
RLB re-engineered the produce area, gaining an additional 15,000 square feet in storage. The facility has 10 temperature and humidity control zones.
The 55,000-square-foot warehouse also includes 13,000 square feet for RLB’s FreshPro fresh-cut processing division.
For the past couple of years, RLB has searched for another facility to relocate operations but couldn’t find one that met its refrigeration and distribution requirements, Granata said.
“We couldn’t wait any longer to move,” Granata said. “This gives us more space to expand to different types of customers. We are able to handle more items, items of different sizes and labels and are better equipped to handle more SKUs (stock-keeping units).”
The additional space should also allow RLB to expand its fresh-cut processing area, he said.
In late February, RLB was in the process of revamping the new space and planned to begin use in May.
RLB distributes produce to retailers from New England to the Washington, D.C., area.