Business updates: Atlanta Know Your Market - The Packer

Business updates: Atlanta Know Your Market

03/22/2010 02:05:48 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Coosemans broadens its product offerings

Coosemans Atlanta Inc. has expanded its refrigeration space and has added more space at the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park, Ga.

The specialties purveyor added 6,000 square feet of refrigeration in the back of its existing facility.

The new cooling space has technology improvements in refrigeration, lighting and electronic door openings, said Brian Young, general manager.

Coosemans has also procured 28,000 square feet of warehouse space by moving into a second location on the terminal market.

In early February, Coosemans took delivery of the space, which was previously occupied by Taylor Farms, Salinas, Calif., and later, Halls Produce.

To counter declining specialties orders, Coosemans is also broadening its commodity offerings.

Young said Coosemans is expanding from its 650 items to 700 items by adding commodities such as red, green, rainbow and swiss chard and increasing its sales of heirloom and roma tomatoes. It also is considering entering the tomato repacking business.

“There have been times where we have had the philosophy of if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, as 650 items are plenty to keep you busy and challenged with your procurement and sales,” Young said.

“As the economy started to soften, we decided to bring in items that we haven’t handled in the past. We are procuring more packages through the system and increasing revenues.”

Young said Coosemans is also considering adding broccoli crowns.

General Produce eyes expansion

General Produce Inc., Atlanta, marks its 50th anniversary this year.

The distributor, which turned 50 in February, plans to host a party during the late spring or early summer when the weather is more favorable, said Andrew Scott, sales and procurement manager.

Hiram Folds, 80, who purchased the company in 1976 from founder J.A. Morgan, visits the office two to three days a week but lessened his involvement in 2000 and leaves the running of the company to his son and daughter, Calvin Folds, president, and Jeannie Springfield, vice president.

Springfield said she and her brother learned much from their father.

General Produce is also eyeing a new location for its Thomasville, Ga., warehouse.

Scott said the distributor, which sends trucks throughout the Southeast and as far south as Miami, has outgrown its Cairo, Ga., operation.

“Business has been good down there especially for the independent retailers,” he said.

J.J. Jardina installs inventory system

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