Sun Farm moves off market - The Packer

Sun Farm moves off market

08/07/2014 10:28:00 AM
Andy Nelson

ST. LOUIS — With its recent move off the market, Sun Farm Foodservice has tripled its space.

In July, the distributor left the St. Louis Produce Market and relocated just a few blocks west, to the northwest corner of Ninth and Market streets.

Andy NelsonSun Farm Food Service was “bursting at the seams” on the St. Louis Produce Market, leading to a move off-market, said John Pollaci, the company’s president.Sun Farm swapped its 7,000 square feet on the market to about 21,000 at its new spot, which was formerly home to fellow distributor Front Row Produce, said John Pollaci, Sun Farm’s president.

That leaves lots of room to grow.

“We were kind of bursting at the seams,” Pollaci said. “We have plenty of room to grow, although everybody I’ve talked to said that when you move into a new warehouse, it gets filled quickly.”

Sun Farm also is able to add new salesmen and buyers with the additional space, Pollaci said.

The new building features five docks and a room with a garage door for smaller orders. The entire dock area will be climate-controlled to maintain cold-chain integrity, Pollaci said.

Sun Farm’s old facility had four docks, but only two were in use, Pollaci said.

“We’ll be able to check orders with a fine-tooth comb before they go out.”

Trucks will come in and out much more quickly in the new facility, and instead of handling one truck at a time, the company will be able to handle up to five.

Sun Farm has a fleet of nine trucks it runs on six established routes in the St. Louis area.

The facility features three 40x40-foot coolers and one 60x40-foot cooler. The additional space could lead to new repacking opportunities for Sun Farm, among other things.

“It should be a huge gain in efficiency for us,” Pollaci said. “We’ll grow just by being more efficient.”

Sun Farm made significant changes to the old Front Row building before moving in, Pollaci said. Walls were added in the office area to create spaces for salesmen, buyers, two executive offices, a conference room and other uses.

The “recycle/reuse” aesthetic was central to the design of the new office, Pollaci said. The doors to the two executive offices, for instance, are massive reclaimed barn doors, complete with the original metal tracks on which the doors slide.

In addition, the conference room table also was crafted out of reclaimed barn wood. The “legs” on which the table rests are actually restored packing crates kept in storage at Sun Farm for decades.

Sections of other crates have been combined in a collage that greets customers at the office’s front door, and vintage packing labels — also pulled from Sun Farm’s archives at its old home on the market — have been framed and are scattered on the walls throughout the new office.

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