The Alphas Co. looks to Southeast Asia

The Alphas Co., Chelsea, Mass., a wholesale distributor that focuses on specialty products brought in from Asia and India, is looking to expand its program, said Yanni Alphas, president and chief executive officer.

“We’re going to be expanding the program into Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia to bring in stuff like dragon fruit and a lot of other fruits,” he said.

Alphas started the company in 1999.

Boston Tomato moves into bigger facility

Boston Tomato & Packaging LLC, Chelsea, Mass., recently moved into a 10,000-square-foot building across the street from the company’s established location, said Bobby Nano, owner and president.

The company bought out Bostonia Produce, at 300 Beacham St., in November for an undisclosed price and moved into the building in March, Nano said.

“It’s double the size of what we had,” Nano said.

The move allows for more sales, Nano said.

“We have a full line of our Western deal, with iceberg, romaine, red leaf and green leaf lettuce and green onions, which we never sold before,” Nano said.

The company also recently started a packaging line and recently achieved audit certification from Primus Labs, Nano said.

The move also allowed the company to increase staff by about 15%, raising the number of employees to 70, Nano said.

Community Suffolk reaches 75th year

Everett, Mass.-based Community-Suffolk Inc. is celebrating 75 years in business, said Steven Piazza, president and treasurer.

Community-Suffolk product staples include carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, broccoli, lettuce, lemons and oranges.

Condakes puts grape tomatoes in quart clams

Chelsea, Mass.-based Peter Condakes Co. Inc. is in growth mode, said Peter John Condakes, president.

One part of that growth involved tomato packing, as the company will add quart packs to its line of clamshell-packed grape tomatoes this year, Condakes said.

“We also recently expanded into more of the mixed-medley specialty packs of tomatoes — grapes and cherries mixed in a pack,” he said.

“It’s very colorful, very pretty. It probably goes more to foodservice, but some also goes to retail.”

The company also now is bringing in heirloom tomatoes, Condakes said.

“None of this is huge numbers, but you start slowly,” he said.

Condakes said his company is working on bringing in a consistent supply of yellow tomatoes.

“There’s a reasonable market on them. The challenge is getting a consistent supply,” he said.

“You can build a business if people know you have it.”

Sid Wainer & Son preps for 100th anniversary

New Bedford, Mass.-based Sid Wainer & Son is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary, said Victor Simas, vice president of sales.

The company was founded primarily as a wholesaler, Wainer Bros., in 1914.

It remains a family-run business, which is becoming rarer, Simas said.

“They’re getting less and less, and we’re one of the few independent companies that operate that way,” he said.