Cefalu computerizes tomato line

Jessup, Md.-based G. Cefalu & Bro. Inc. and Capital Seaboard added a computerized tomato grading system.

The system, which includes washing, sanitizing and drying, assists in improving food safety by helping produce a product as close to table-ready as possible, said Sal Cefalu, a Cefalu and Capital Seaboard board member.

The Invision system is one of only 14 in the world and provides tomato repackers a chance to repack the tomatoes much more efficiently, Cefalu said.

Cefalu installed the equipment in June.

Coastal Sunbelt marks 20 years

Coastal Sunbelt Produce Co. is celebrating its second decade.

The Savage, Md.-based foodservice distributor began operations in 1992.

Ross Foca, president of East Coast Fresh Cuts, said Coastal Sunbelt plans to mark the anniversary by rolling out an employee appreciation program and hosting a company event night at the Baltimore Aquarium. The company also is planning some other smaller events.

A separate company from Coastal Sunbelt, East Coast Fresh Cuts began operations during the late 1990s.

Coosemans offers microgreens

Coosemans D.C. Inc. is introducing specialty offerings.

The Jessup, Md.-based specialties grower, packer, importer and purveyor is offering 1-ounce bags of microgreens.

The bags are available in kale combo, veggies galore, spicy selection and Italian blend, and Coosemans suggest merchandising alongside the lettuce section, said Lolo Mengel, co-owner and general manager.

The microgreens can be freestanding or hang on racks.

Additionally, Coosemans introduced 4.5-ounce retail and 5-pound foodservice bags of pomegranate arils, the translucent flesh surrounding pomegranate seeds.

The arils can be used to top salads, on cereals, in desserts and sauces, as a garnish or eaten out of the package, Mengel said.

Coosemans introduced the arils in May and the microgreens additions in June.

Gilbert Foods builds fresh-cut plant

Gilbert Foods Inc., doing business as Hearn Kirkwood, Hanover, Md., is constructing a fresh-cut facility.

The foodservice perishables wholesaler that also distributes meat and dairy plans to open the 47,000-square-foot fresh-cut operation, about three times larger than its current facility near the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market in Jessup, by Jan. 1.

“We outgrew the facility a few years back,” said Charles Gilbert, chief executive officer and co-owner. “We decided it was time to build something bigger and better.”

The new facility will be about 5 miles from Gilbert’s headquarters.

Tony Vitrano Co. turns 80 years old

The Tony Vitrano Co., Jessup, Md., marks its 80th year this year.

The distributor, which sells to retailers, foodservice purveyors and wholesalers, doesn’t plan any events to celebrate the milestone, said Tony Vitrano, president.

Tony Vitrano’s father, Justin Vitrano, still works in the office a couple of times a week, as does his brother, Norman Vitrano, part of the second generation that remains actively involved.

Tony Vitrano, the grandfather of the younger Tony Vitrano, founded the company in 1932. He died in 1985.

Vitrano distributes to customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic, from Pennsylvania to South Carolina and West Virginia.


(Note on correction: This story on Coastal Sunbelt originally incorrectly mischaracterized the ownership of East Coast Fresh Cuts in the third paragraph).