Portland, Ore.-based United Salad Co. and Duck Delivery had retail and foodservice covered in the Pacific Northwest, with one exception, according to Ernie Spada Jr., the companies’ owner.
Now they’re focusing on the exception, preparing for a July 15 opening of Mary’s Harvest Fresh Foods LLC in Portland.
The new company will meet a growing market need for meals to go in retail stores, delicatessens and hotels, Spada said.
“We see a need because our retailers are looking for deli and replacement meals and grab-and-go,” Spada said.
The company has invested $6 million in the project, including a $4 million buying and retrofitting a 45,000-square-foot building about eight blocks from the company’s main office/warehouse complex, Spada said.
The company will process fresh fruits and vegetables, and with a 6,000-square-foot kitchen, be able to make salads, sandwiches and a full line of “grab-and-goes,” Spada said.
His sister, Charisse Spada, is president of the new company, which will distribute to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, Ernie Spada Jr. said.
The company will have 225 employees, including some new hires and others who will move from the processing plant at Duck Delivery, which is being closed.
“We’ll pre-cut, package and ship, but not just fresh fruits and vegetables. It will be a full hot lineup,” Spada said.
It’s the first major expansion since the 73-year-old United Salad acquired Duck Delivery 28 years ago, Spada said.