Claudia Villalobos (from left), director of marketing and culinary, and Cody Ramsey, foodservice manager, for Salinas-based D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, show Andy Boy brand broccoli rabe to Felipe Molar, executive sous chef at the Sheraton hotel in San Gabriel, Calif. ( Tom Burfield )

LOS ANGELES — Seventy vendors touted their wares for customers and potential customers of LA & SF Specialty at the company’s seventh Cultivating Our Community.

Chefs, buyers and restaurant owners visited Sept. 10 with the company’s grower partners and suppliers of produce and specialty grocery items. 

“We try to connect the whole community and bring everybody together to interact and learn from one another,” said Rick Fisher, vice president of sales.

“The Specialty Conference gives Driscoll’s a great opportunity to connect with the many foodservice and wholesale providers we work with so often,” said Michael DeSimone, channel development manager of the berry company, Watsonville. “It’s been wonderful to spend time speaking about recipes, breeding and flavor development with such an engaged and collaborative community.”

Salinas-based D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California took the opportunity to talk about specialty items including romaine hears, broccoli rabe and fennel.

“It’s a great opportunity to connect with the different chefs that are purchasing from LA & SF Specialty,” said Claudia Villalobos, director of marketing and culinary.

Felipe Molar, executive sous chef at the Sheraton hotel in San Gabriel, Calif., said he comes to the show to discover new local items to serve.

“We want to see what the local farmers can offer the community,” he said.

LA & SF Specialty also promoted its Chefs To End Hunger charitable food donation program.

The firm collects excess food from hotels, restaurants and other foodservice operations in special boxes and distributes them to various charitable food distributors, like Bracken’s Kitchen in Garden Grove, Calif.

The company distributes more than 3,700 stock-keeping units throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii from facilities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

The company plans to change its name to Vesta Foodservice on Nov. 4.

“Our new name will unify all of our locations and employees and better represent who we are today, what is important to us and how we approach our business,” according to a company announcement.

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LA & SF Specialty opens Bay Area distribution center

 
 
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