Bamford Produce is already known as a big foodservice supplier, operating out of the Ontario Produce Terminal in Toronto as well as from their facilities in Mississauga, but being known and staying known is not the same thing, and the 130-year-old company isn’t satisfied with the status quo.

There are increasing opportunities, especially with high-end foodservice operations,Bamford stays fresh with fresh-cuts such as four-star restaurants, and even lesser known restaurants that want to maximize efficiency in the kitchen, said Ralph Petrungaro, vice president.

“We already have more than 500 custom (stock-keeping units) for hand-cuts,” Petrungaro said.

Petrungaro said he expects more and more foodservice operations to seek out suppliers who can fill orders for specialty fresh-cut items. The labor-intensive nature of such items, plus the space required to prepare them are just two of the challenges foodservice managers have when deciding whether to go with simple carrot sticks or delicately cut half-moon beets.

Food safety issues are also top of mind with fresh-cut produce. When restaurants, country clubs, schools and other organizations cut their own fresh produce they are faced with additional tools and surfaces that must sanitized on top of all of the other chores associated with food preparation.

Petrungaro said that by buying more fresh-cut, packaged produce, foodservice operators and chefs are finding that their staffs have more time to better serve their customers.

Bamford Produce distributes a variety of fresh organic and conventional produce by the case and fully processed for fresh use. The fourth-generation company was founded in 1881.