One the most familiar names in Detroit’s produce landscape has changed its corporate identity.
Aunt Mid’s — a family-owned wholesaler, processor and regional produce distributor — has changed its corporate name to Riggio Distribution Co. to more accurately reflect the diverse nature of its business, said Dominic Riggio, president.
“Basically, we just changed our corporate name to be more in line with companies that don’t use their primary label as their company name,” he said.
Aunt Mid’s remains as the company’s product label, he said.
“Absolutely, it’s a well-established label, and all of our packaging and all of our products are still packaged under that label,” Riggio said.
The end-users won’t see any change, he said.
“We do more things here now than just what we package under the Aunt Mid’s label,” Riggio said. “While we certainly want to want to build the label. That’s exactly what it is.”
The company branches in a number of directions, though, and it was time to establish a corporate moniker that embraced every aspect of the company beyond its package label, Riggio said.
“Our company has gone into so many other things — we package and we wholesale and there’s so many legs of our business now — we needed to get all of our businesses under a different corporate banner,” he said. “It’s really just a trade change.”
Riggio said it’s not a “doing-business-as,” or DBA, situation.
“It’s a complete change; it’s our family name,” he said.
Riggio was asked if there was any trepidation about departing from an established corporate banner.
“Obviously, the company name has been around since 1948, but we felt our relationships and our posture in the industry as so strong, we felt we could do this without incident, and we have,” he said, adding that the change took place in the spring.
He said company officials have explained their reasoning behind the change to others in the industry.
“Everybody understands,” he said, describing the change as “seamless.”
Aunt Mid’s dates to 1948, starting as a distributor of packaged fresh spinach.
Philip Riggio Sr., an original customer of the company on the Detroit Produce Terminal, bought Aunt Mid’s in 1984.
The company has a 100,000-square-foot packaging facility in Detroit, as well as about 50,000 square feet of wholesaling space on the Detroit Produce Terminal.
The company services a retail and foodservice customer base within a “400- to 500-mile radius around Detroit, as well as Ontario,” Riggio said.
Nothing changes there, Riggio says.
“The customer base is the same,” he said. “I mean, it’s changing all the time as an ongoing practice, but not in any way connected to the name change.
No other changes in direction are planned in connection to the name change, Riggio said.
“We’re a family company, so we’re pretty liquid, nimble, and we’re able to make pretty big changes without too much (difficulty),” he said.