J. Kings Foodservice Professionals Inc. is starting banana ripening.

Though the Holtsville, N.Y.-based distributor has always distributed bananas, it decided to become more involved in the deal and was installing banana ripening rooms in its 100,000-square-foot distribution and consolidation warehouse in Calverton, N.Y., said Joel Panagakos, salesman.

J. Kings plans to ripen other fruit, including avocados, in the six ripening rooms it was constructing in April, he said.

While it sells a substantial amount of bananas, some of J. Kings’ bigger customers requested help with the ripening as the company had been using other companies for ripening. Such a service could ultimately reduce costs, Panagakos said.

“As it won’t be under someone else’s control, we can create our own destiny,” Panagakos said. “These will be ripened the right way versus placing them in a room regularly heated.

“Bananas are kind of the backbone of a lot of people’s menus, particularly at retail. Foodservice buys a couple of boxes a day, while retailers often buy by the pallet.”