Market Fresh Produce expands

08/29/2013 03:16:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

Market Fresh new hiresHannah Harris, from left, Steve Ford and Katie Wallace are all new in the business development department for Nixa, Mo.-based Market Fresh Produce. The trio was on hand Aug. 13 at the Supervalu Sales for All Seasons conference in St. Paul, Minn., where they dressed in NFL garb to help promote the company’s giveaway promotion of tickets to a Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings game.Market Fresh Produce LLC, Nixa, Mo., is expanding.

The company recently created a business development department and hired Steve Ford, Hannah Harris, and Katie Wallace.

“Working closely with our category manager of sweet potatoes, Shanan Cox, this team brings a whole new ‘fresh’ approach to Market Fresh’s customer service pledge,” Mike Kemp, vice president of business development, said in an e-mail.

Kemp said the company is growing in accordance to its five-year plan to become one of the industry’s most trusted brands.

“While we have been blessed with seven consecutive years of sales growth and been able to maintain a 98% or better service level, we need the bodies to follow up with the onslaught of inquires we get when we exhibit in the regional produce shows,” he said.

Market Fresh also recently purchased West Central Florida Produce LLC, a Tampa, Fla., distributor.

Market Fresh owner and chief executive officer Steve Phipps also bought Bushman Inc.’s ownership stake in Market Fresh.

On Aug. 11, Market Fresh completed its acquisition of West Central Florida Produce.

Market Fresh is upgrading West Central’s repacking facility, according to a news release.

In the long term, Market Fresh officials plan to expand West Central Florida’s product selection beyond tomatoes and add the other categories Market Fresh offers, according to the release.

“This is an exciting time in the life of our company,” Phipps said in the release.

“Having a repacking and distribution facility located in Florida really strengthens our go-to-market strategy, not only in Florida, but in many areas outside of the state.”

Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier contributed to this report.



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