At almost 50,000 square feet, the new building is much larger than the company’s facility in Washington, D.C., proper, Honigberg said.
Sun Belle has been in that facility since 1993, and has expanded it, but the company’s steady growth necessitated a move, Honigberg said.
Rosemont Farms veteran joins Sun Valley International
In September, Bob Ritchart, a longtime employee of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Rosemont Farms, joined Tampa, Fla.-based Sun Valley International as the company’s vice president of sales.
Ritchart said he relished the chance to get in on the ground floor of a new enterprise. Last season was the first in which Sun Valley, a division of logistics specialist Cargo Transport Inc., began importing fruit.
“This will be the first full year for us to take our temperature and gauge our success,” he said. “It’s good to get with somebody in the industry who’s hungry. A lot of people out there are excited for us.”
One big draw for Ritchart about joining Sun Valley was the company’s logistics advantage over other importers, given its parent company.
“Logistics-wise they have all the lanes, their own independent trucks, transportation out of growing areas,” he said. “Cargo Transport has phenomenal name recognition and a great reputation.”
Ritchart worked for Rosemont for 9½ years, leaving the company as category sales manager.
Jack Callahan, the company’s executive vice president, said he was excited to be working with such a seasoned veteran of the produce business.
“Bob is a no-nonsense veteran with more than 20 years in the Industry, 16 years in produce sales specializing in imported and domestic fruit,” Callahan said. “His ability to create effective and value-added programs is well documented, and we believe his talent coupled with our new model will provide outstanding value to our customers.”
By Markets Editor Andy Nelson