Berry company Sun Belle Inc. is acquiring CoolHouse Distribution Center LLC, in Laredo, Texas.
When the sale is final, it will join other Sun Belle DCs in Jessup, Md.; Miami; Shiller Park, Ill.; and Oxnard, Calif.
The facility opened in 2017 and has 35,000 square feet of refrigerated and freezer space on 11.4 acres, with room to double in size, according to a news release. It is located between Laredo’s two border bridges, the Colombia Solidarity Bridge and the World Trade Bridge.
Lucy Montemayor and her father, Rodolfo Delgado, principals of customs broker Rodel International Inc., established CoolHouse Distribution Center. It provides value-added services, including re-packing, sorting, quality inspections and labeling, according to the release.
The business transloads and handles up an average of 50-60 trucks a day. It can handle organics, is Kosher certified and can transload shipments destined for Canada and Europe, according to the release.
Montemayor has joined Sun Bell as general manager of the Laredo facility. Sun Bell plans to maintain the CoolHouse third-party business under the CoolHouse banner, according to the release.
Montemayor in the release said Honigberg and others urged her to start the business to meet transloading demand in the area.
“We built it with expansion in mind — I’m confident that Sun Belle will benefit greatly from this foresight as its business continues to grow,” she said in the release.
Honigberg said the importance of Sun Belle having a Texas refrigerated handling and distribution center was elevated with an agreement with berry grower Giddings Mexico. Sun Belle markets all of the grower’s conventional and organic blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, according to the release.
The company plans to establish another company, Sun Belle Laredo, for sales and distribution services to deliver berries directly to companies in the south and southwest.
“Between our five distribution centers we can service retailers and food service providers throughout the country with even better efficiency and coverage,” Honigberg said in the release.