The San Francisco branch of Coosemans Worldwide at the San Francisco Wholesale Product Market has a new leader — and a new attitude.
A newcomer to California, Robert Culhane, general manager at Coosemans San Francisco, is a familiar face to many in the fresh produce industry.
In addition to a previous stint with Coosemans Worldwide, Culhane was a vice president with FreshPoint Central Florida, Orlando, and headed up a Pro*Act company in Tampa.
Since his arrival four months ago, Culhane has been making changes.
“I think we got away from what we originally got in the business for, specialty stuff,” Culhane said. “We’re bringing more specialty stuff to bring more people back to this market, bringing back what the customer wants.”
Just a few of the expanded inventory of items now making appearances at Coosemans are horned melons, champagne grapes, baby mix lettuces and a full line of herbs, Culhane said.
Service and taking care of the customer join the expanded specialty commodities at the highest priority, he said.
“If we tell you we’re going to have it on Tuesday, we’re going to have it on Tuesday,” Culhane said. “If you call by 10 o’clock, I can usually have it the next day.”
A new service dimension Culhane initiated, he said, is delivery to some customers. Those customers range from as far south as San Jose and east to Sacramento.
“If I have to put another truck on and it works for us and the customer, we’re going to do it,” Culhane said.
Even the face of Coosemans San Francisco has a new look: new displays and new photographs.
The company’s relationships with growers — Culhane calls them partnerships — are being rejuvenated, Culhane said.
“They’re taking care of us as we’re taking care of them,” he said.
The focus at Coosemans San Francisco, whose customers include retail and foodservice, is finding new and more local grower partners, Culhane said.
To spread the word about the changes at Coosemans, Culhane is promoting the company’s website, distributing brochures and attending food shows, he said.
“The biggest thing is we want to draw more people to this market,” Culhane said.