WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Increasing demand is propelling Jack Scalisi Wholesale Fruit & Produce to relocate to a larger distribution facility.
Though the foodservice distributor planned to move to the new operation in April, construction delays are pushing back the move date to sometime in June.
The later date actually works better as the seasonal business in May was beginning to slow as the snowbirds begin returning to the North and Midwest, said Jack Scalisi, president.
The new 19,000-square-foot warehouse is being constructed west of Palm Beach International Airport and minutes from its former cramped location.
The refrigerated building features three receiving truck bays, nine bays for loading outgoing trucks and one dock for customer pickups.
A ripening room for maturing heirloom tomatoes and other products is also on site.
The operation will also be able to handle export containers and includes room for possible expansion into the fresh-cut business, Scalisi said.
The new facility isn"t part of any business expansion strategy but is being constructed to improve service to existing foodservice customers to the region"s many high-end restaurants, country clubs, caterers and yachts, Scalisi said.
Business is growing through word-of-mouth endorsements, he said.
"Logistically, we won"t have to change any routes," Scalisi said. "We have been tortured with limited space by where we"re at. We needed more room to do a better job for our customers and to modernize our business."
Solar panels that run the length of the roof will help power the facility and inverters will allow Scalisi to sell power back to the power company, he said.
The building includes a recycling area as well as an irrigation system that uses a 10,000-gallon-tank to recycle rainwater.
Windows in the rear of coolers allow visiting customers to view product and the facility will include separate offices for sales, customer service and accounting and will include a conference room.