Berry marketer Sun Belle Inc. has a new refrigerated distribution facility adjacent to Miami International Airport, an importing hub for some of its products.
The 82,000 square-foot center is also near another import site, PortMiami, and close to the Palmetto Expressway, the Florida Turnpike, and I-95, according to a news release, making distribution as it leaves the facility faster.
Sun Belle will use the facility for berries, but the company is also markets and distributes other produce on behalf of its growers. The company also provides third-party handling for perishables from other importers and distributors, according to the release.
The company has had a presence in Miami more than 16 years, founder and president Janice Honigberg said, and the facility is the company’s third location there. Sun Belle bought the facility in early 2017 and remodeled to the company’s specifications.
“We are very experienced in maintaining the cold chain and have insured that perishables can be loaded and unloaded, handled and stored without breaking temperature,” she said in the release. “In addition, we have an experienced team of re-graders and sorters who can ensure perishables make arrivals at their ultimate destination.”
The facility has nine docks (seven refrigerated), four pre-coolers, seven independent coolers, two work rooms, a refrigerated dock and dry storage.
Sun Belle is also considering installing automated blueberry sorting equipment to pack bulk berries, according to the release.
Mariella Marrero has been Sun Belle Miami’s general manager since 2006, and she helped oversee the design to ensure it met the company’s needs.
Sun Belle also operates a 63,000 square-foot facility in Jessup, Md., a 52,000 square-foot facility in Schiller Park, Ill., and 14,000 square feet within a larger Oxnard, Calif., facility.