(Dec. 17) CLEVELAND — One of the major players on Cleveland’s Northern Ohio Food Market is preparing to make a move.

Cleveland Growers Marketing Co., a grower-owned shipper, receiver and jobber that occupies most of the terminal’s building No. 3, confirmed it will move to an off-market location.

“We’re working on it,” said Edward Tousel, Cleveland Growers’ general manager. “We’re working with the city council.”

Tousel said the company’s new facility will be on 55th street, near Lake Erie, two to three miles northeast of its current market location. Tousel said he would have more to say about the move later in the month.

Terminal market companies don’t seem too pleased about the move.

“I think it would hurt the continuity of the market,” said Andrew Weingart, vice president of The Forest City Weingart Produce Co.

Cleveland Growers is one of the market’s cornerstone businesses that has been at the facility for a long time, terminal wholesalers say.

“I like the fact that the market, my competitors and myself, are all here together,” said Anthony Volpe, secretary-treasurer of Paolo Volpe & Sons Inc.

Tousel said he tried to work with the terminal’s other produce companies.

“I gave them plenty of chances to keep us here, and they just didn’t want to until it was too late,” Tousel said.

Tousel did not give a timeframe for the relocation, but had earlier said the move would likely happen at the first of the year.

Jeff McCreery, a salesman for Coosemans Cleveland Inc., which sells specialty produce next door to Cleveland Growers, said the company’s departure might hurt the market.

“I can’t see them leaving the market,” he said. “People come here and they get a pass at us. It would mean less street traffic.”

Joseph F. Cavalier, president of The Cavalier-Gulling-Wilson Co. Inc., and president of the terminal market’s board of directors, said Cleveland Growers either outgrew or sold their facility in Berea, Ohio, southwest of Cleveland.

“Their needs are greater; they need more space,” he said.

According to the Red Book Credit Services, Lenexa, Kan., Cleveland Growers owns Western Reserve Gourmet Packers Co., Berea, a produce repacking operation.