Jack Scalisi Wholesale Fruit & Produce is relocating to new and larger operation to better serve South Florida foodservice customers.
The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based wholesaler expects to move into the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-certified building in early April. It plans to achieve the certification shortly after completing construction, said Jack Scalisi, president.
In July, the distributor broke ground on the 19,000 square foot warehouse that includes 14,500 square feet of refrigerated storage and nine refrigerated shipping and four receiving docks.
The company, which distributes produce to upscale restaurants, country clubs and hotels throughout the populous Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and West Palm Beach metropolitan areas, has outgrown its 5,000 square foot distribution facility.
Located near U.S. 441/98 and State Road 80, the new operation is close to the turnpike exit and should provide easier access to produce from Belle Glade, Fla., Scalisi said.
The new operation should improve efficiencies from current operations which see crews moving pallets up to five times before selling them, Scalisi said.
“There’s a big block of business that will only do business with a company with a food safety program in place that can trace its goods,” Scalisi said. “In our current small place, it’s impossible to accomplish this with product all over the place and working with trailers. We will be able to modernize and get in the game and attract new customers that demand those food safety capabilities. There aren’t many distributors in our area with our size that will have that capacity.”
Scalisi also plans to help power the building through 150 solar panels and a rooftop rain water collection system is designed to irrigate the property.
The Scalisi operation’s roots trace to 1926 when Jack Scalisi’s grandfather, Italian immigrant Jack Scalisi, began selling produce in Detroit.
The younger Scalisi’s dad, Tony Scalisi Sr., who serves as the current Scalisi’s vice president, moved to Florida in 1978 and opened a restaurant before he and a cousin in 1979 started Scalisi Produce which was later purchased by the London-based Albert Fisher Group where brothers Anthony Scalisi, Scalisi’s sales manager, and Jack Scalisi worked.
In 1992, Jack Scalisi started broadline distributor Cheney’s Premiere Produce in Riviera Beach, Fla., and in 1994, started the current operation with nothing more than an 18-foot GMC refrigerated truck and some old friends.