G. Cefalu moves to new facility
Jessup, Md.-based produce and seafood distributor G. Cefalu & Bro. Inc. moved into a new 162,000-square-foot distribution center near the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market in February, said Larry Quinn, president.
The new $25 million plant, which the company currently is leasing with an option to buy, is more than triple the size of the 54,000-square-foot building Cefalu had left after eight years of occupancy.
He said the new plant’s loading dock area, at 55,000 square feet, is larger than the company’s entire previous facility.
There’s plenty of room to grow in the new building, Quinn said. “We’re not at capacity yet but we have ramped up.”
Cefalu’s business is roughly 65% produce and 35% seafood, Quinn said.
Foca leaves Coastal Sunbelt
Ross Foca stepped down as president of distributor for Coastal Sunbelt Produce Co. this year to join a produce-related venture in Maine, he said.
The Coastal Cos. is the holding company of Coastal Sunbelt Produce, a distributor; East Coast Fresh, a processor; Cold Chain Imports, an importer; and Cold Chain Logistics, a freight brokerage.
Foca joined RLJ Equity Partners and SJ Partners LLC in their investment in Native Maine Produce and Specialty Foods in Westbrook, Maine.
The equity groups acquired majority control of the business in January, and Foca joined in May, when he acquired the remaining shares from the founder, giving them 100% ownership of the company, he said.
For the past two years Foca had been chief operating officer of The Coastal Cos. and president of Coastal Sunbelt Produce, and before that was president of East Coast Fresh.
Coastal officials declined to comment.
Keany Produce rebrands itself
Keany Produce Co., Landover, Md., has rebranded itself as Keany Produce and Gourmet Inc., said Roy Cargiulo, sales manager.
“We’ve done a refresh for the first time in 35 years,” he said. “With that, we’ve added a full line of non-produce items, with a concentration on locals, with cheeses and different items our customers are asking for.”
It’s the second major change the company has made in the last couple of years, both of which were aimed at growth across a region, Cargiulo said.
The first change was opening a 90,000-square-foot distribution center in Richmond, Va.
Lancaster Foods boosts value-added
Jessup, Md.-based Lancaster Foods Inc. is ramping up in the area of value-added produce, said John Gates, president.
“We’ve grown in our fresh-cut veg, and we’ve gotten into cauliflower rices and spiralized noodles, which are the biggest new thing this year,” he said.
Maryland Wholesale hires manager
Gary Decker, a longtime employee at the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market in Jessup, now is manager of the facility.
Decker, who has been with the market for 23 years, had been maintenance supervisor there for 15 years, he said.
He started his new duties in February, said Rose Harrell, deputy director of the Maryland Food Center Authority, which oversees the produce market.
Decker succeeded Harrell as market manager.
Pete Pappas hires industry veterans
Washington, D.C.-based wholesale distributor Pete Pappas & Sons Inc., which is marking its 75th anniversary this year, has hired two new employees with decades of experience, said Gus Pappas, president.
Thirty-year industry veteran Ed Bush has been hired as operations manager, bringing a background in growing, f.o.b. sales and distribution, Pappas said, noting that Bush also has more than 20 years in foodservice and wholesale distribution.
Don Martin joined Pappas & Sons as general manager. He brought 30 years’ experience, working for growers, shippers and repackers, and has a background in conventional and organic produce, Pappas said.
Pete Pappas & Sons also is trying out organic tomatoes for the first time with 3 acres at its farm in Tennessee, Pappas said.