Spokane, Wash.-based Peirone Produce Co. is marking its 65th year in business by moving into a new produce distribution warehouse.

“We will nearly triple our current capacity,” said Pat Davidson, president and chief executive officer. “We’ve done a first-class new construction.”

 The new warehouse, a $12-million investment, contains 77,000 square feet of refrigerated storage and represents a $12 million investment, Davison said. The new has ripening rooms and coolers, each with computer-monitored temperature, humidity and ethylene gas control. The building also contains the company’s procurement, sales and administrative offices.

“The target date to be fully operational is Monday, March 15,” Davidson said.

The new facility marks the first time in nearly 50 years that Peirone Produce will be operating on its own nine-acre property. The company moved into its existing warehouse on leased land in 1963.

Although site preparation began last summer, and construction is nearly complete, getting to the finish line has taken a dozen years, Davidson said. The company purchased the land in 1998.

Founded in 1946, Peirone Produce serves retailers in sections of four states: eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana and northeast Oregon, Davidson said. The company’s focus is entirely on fresh produce for its retail customers.
“We carry only what the produce departments in the stores carry,” Davidson said.

Delivering to the new, more efficient distribution warehouse is a company-owned fleet of nearly two dozen refrigerated tractor-trailer rigs, Davidson said. The trucks are for hire on outbound routes, but return with fresh produce from Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, he said.

Peirone Produce employs about 100 people, with about 40 assigned to the trucking fleet. Although it is a division of URM Stores Inc., Spokane, Wash., which acquired Peirone Produce in 1986, the fresh produce distribution company operates independently, Davidson said.

Peirone Produce does not deliver to foodservice clients, but another of the parent company’s divisions does, he said. Peirone Produce makes daily deliveries to the other division, but the volume is relatively small when compared with Peirone Produce’s retail shipments, Davidson said.



Peirone Produce opens warehouse

Courtesy Peirone Produce

Peirone Produce Co., Spokane, Wash., plans to open a 70,000-square-foot produce distribution facility and office space in March. The facility has ripening rooms and coolers. Before, Peirone Produce previously leased a much smaller facility.