Florida Know Your Market Business Updates

01/05/2010 03:56:24 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

American Fruit & Produce Corp., Opa Locka, Fla., is expanding offerings in its My Fresh Garden line of fruits and vegetables it repacks into bags and clamshells.The distributor, which introduced the line in 2008, started with 40 items and expanded to 65 offerings. American is planning to add another 85 items, said Marshall Glantz, director of business development, exports and executive director. American packs a complete line of vegetables and stone fruit into a variety of bags and clamshells, including 8-ounce, and 1- and 2-pound clamshells as well as 4- and 6-count packs of tomatoes and other items.The products available in the My Fresh Garden line include fruit and nuts, grapes, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, squashes, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and grape and cherry tomatoes.

Crews & Garcia Inc., Tampa, Fla., has started carrying sweet onions.The wholesaler on the Tampa Wholesale Produce Market began carrying the onions in September, said Louis Garcia III, salesman and buyer.Customer requests prompted the distributor to offer the onions, Garcia said.“The price is what got us interested,” he said. “Buying direct, we felt we could be more competitive than anyone else.”The longtime market wholesaler was selling Peruvian onions in November and plans to switch to Vidalia onions during the spring and then to other growing regions.Crews & Garcia sells to walk-up customers and distributes produce to retail customers throughout Florida.

DiMare Fresh-Tampa Inc., Riverview, Fla., is using an air freshener system.Through its food safety practices, the tomato repacker not only keeps its floors and walls clean, but it is using an AiroCide Perishables Preservative Technology air purifying system to keep the air free of impurities, said Chuck Bruno, vice president and general manager. The system eliminates mold and mildew at the Tampa, Fla.-area tomato repacking operation.

The Produce Connection Inc., Miami, has won this year’s Department of Commerce Presidential E award.The award recognizes persons, firms or organizations that contribute significantly to increasing U.S. exports, according to the commerce department.  The Produce Connection partner Bruce Fishbein credits Julie Escobar, the company’s director of international sales, for winning the awardOther award winners this year: the California Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia international trade development office, the Illinois Small Business Development Corp. and Rust-Oleum, Fishbein said.Fishbein is also involved in planning this year’s Don Strock Diabetes benefit tournament. The event, in its 27th year, normally takes place in May. The date hasn’t been scheduled yet. Fishbein started the benefit to raise money to help a colleague’s son who suffered from diabetes.

Jack T. Scalisi Wholesale Produce Distributors, West Palm Beach, Fla., has expanded its fleet of trucks.The foodservice distributor added a truck to its 17 trucks, said Jack Scalisi, president.Scalisi distributes produce to foodservice customers throughout southeast Florida north to Fort Pierce, Fla., and south to northern parts of Miami.The company services restaurants, country clubs, hotels, yacht foodservice operations, caterers that serve private aircraft and other foodservice customers.



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