Philadelphia wholesalers await move into new digs

09/08/2009 05:00:53 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Jack Collotti Jr., vice president of Collotti & Sons Produce Inc., worries about increased costs.

“The new market will bring a lot higher expenses,” he said. “It will be more expensive to do business in.”

Martin Roth, secretary-treasurer of Coosemans Philadelphia Inc., also used to worry about higher expected costs but now says fear of the future can be expected.

“You always are more afraid of the unknown,” he said. “Costs will be a big part of it for the future for a lot of people. It could be double. Everything will be higher.”

When the present market installed new refrigeration units during the 1990s, many merchants told Roth that their rent would more than double. Roth said he figured a way to sell more produce, bought more space and made the increased cost work. 

Roth said he’s looking forward to working in the new facility and said he and other wholesalers are hoping for the best.

At the 63-acre site, the main facility is being constructed on 48 acres with an additional 15-acre truck storage lot.

Rick Milavsky, vice president of BRS Produce Co., said that truck storage lot and other designs should bring improved transportation logistics.

“We will have a lot of room in the big building so people can park and trucks can maneuver better,” he said. “It’s a little difficult here when trucks try to back up to the dock with people walking out into the middle of the street.”

Parking areas separated from the truck loading areas, Milavsky said, should make it easier for trucks to load and unload.

A period of adjustment will likely be needed once distributors move into their new digs, said Todd Penza, salesman with Pinto Bros. Inc.

“The new market will be a different concept from what we have here, which will be interesting,” he said. “The first couple of months will be very interesting and a little more challenging, but it will also be much more efficient for us.”

Penza said he thinks customers will not only find it easier to load their produce but should also find the new operation a safer surrounding.


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