(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1 p.m.) Nogales, Ariz.-based Del Campo Supreme Inc. plans to open a satellite location for forward distribution and sales in Philadelphia.
The company has hired Chris Cunnane, previously with Procacci Bros. Sales Corp. in Philadelphia, to head up the location as eastern regional sales manager, said Jim Cathey, general manager and sales manager.
The firm was narrowing its options for a 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot distribution center the week of June 1, and planned to officially open an office there June 6, Cathey said.
“We’re going to establish a foothold,” Cunnane said. “We’re going to be a serious player up here.”
Cunnane said he plans to draw on his 14 years of experience with Procacci Bros. to establish a full-service, vertically integrated operation with multiple channels of distribution within about six months.
“Within a year or two I expect us to be the player up here,” he said. “I don’t think anybody is going to be able to do quite what we’re doing.”
A major focus of the company will be offering stable pricing.
“It’s important that retailers are able to offer the right pricing to keep people buying their products,” he said.
The company expects to select a site for the distribution center by the end of Jun
“The principal concept is forward distribution of all Del Campo products,” Cathey said, including greenhouse beefsteak, cluster and roma tomatoes, field-grown romas and grape tomato program.
The center will handle distribution throughout the Northeast U.S. and eastern Canada.
The firm also plans to set up regional program sales there for retail, club stores and the foodservice sector, he said.
“The main objective is to be prepared for when our (west Mexico) program kicks back into full force at the end of next fall,” Cathey said.
However, the office plans to start by selling some of the company’s roma and grape tomatoes arriving through Texas this summer, and Cathey did not rule out the possibility of selling some local product, as well.
“Nothing is set in stone,” he said. “We’ll hit the ground running and see where it all takes us.”
The new facility should enable Del Campo Supreme to serve the 60% of the U.S. population that resides in the Northeast and the large Ontario and Quebec markets more efficiently, Cathey said.
“We want to better serve our customers that we have there and increase our presence in that area,” he said.