( Logo courtesy Sunfarm | Photo courtesy Joshua Ness on Unsplash )

With a 20,000-square-foot facility just off the St. Louis Produce Market, SunFarm Food Service is expanding its business with schools.

John Pollaci, president of SunFarm Food Service, said the firm is working with area schools to identify local sourcing opportunities.

He said the firm, at 2427 North Market St., engages with school foodservice buyers ahead of the school year to determine how the company could help the districts.

“A lot of them are trying to do some kind of a local (sourcing) at their schools and trying to get involved in those kind of situations as much as possible,” Pollaci said. Apples are the best commodity for local sourcing during the school year, he said. 

The firm has been in its facility for about five years.

“It has been great for us to be close enough to the market so that we can work with our partners over there and yet have a have a space that fits our needs, and we’re able to grow,” he said.

Other areas of foodservice growth include casinos and independent restaurants, he said.

The firm supplies foodservice operators in a 70-mile radius around the city, he said. In addition to sourcing more local produce, the company’s business model now includes offering operators premium items like cheeses, oils and spices that could be paired with salads, he said.

The city has high-growth areas that are attracting more foodservice activity, he said, including Union Station, the City Foundry (opening in 2020), Midtown and the Cortex Innovation hub near St. Louis University.