With roots in retail sales, Baldor Specialty Foods Inc. is moving more into supermarket sales.
“The retail world has steered to master distributors like C&S and Bozzuto’s,” said Mike Muzyk, president.
“That fulfilled every need. What I see in the retail world is not them wanting to go back in time, but there is a need to go back to delivery to the store, through direct store delivery on some commodities that have short shelf life and do not lend themselves to the big distributors.”
Muzyk said he doesn’t want to harm such distributors, who he says do a good job in their service, but instead, wants to complement their deliveries.
“They’re a QE2 while I’m a Jet Ski who can turn on a dime and have the item on their shelves tomorrow,” he said.
“The bigger distributors don’t have that flexibility and aren’t that nimble.”
Mike Cochran, sales manager and vice president of Robert T. Cochran & Co. Inc., said distributors can tell the change in retail demand.
“Most of the retailers say they haven’t been very busy,” he said. “Their orders are smaller. When they feel it, we’re going to feel it.”
Lucky Lee, vice president of sales for Lucky’s Real Tomatoes, a tomato repacker and distributor, said the retail scene remains vibrant.
“This area has an exciting retail scene,” she said.
“New Yorkers are fussy shoppers. They’re not happy with just another piece of fruit. They want tomatoes that taste like tomatoes.”