The returns on its initial footprints in the Texas market is forcing Immokalee, Fla.-based Lipman to think bigger.

The company purchased Dallas-based Combs Produce in June to secure enhanced access to Texas and the Southwest, said Kent Shoemaker, chief executive officer. Both retail and foodservice business are strong in Texas, Shoemaker said.

“For us to be as geographically diverse as our customers want us to be, (not) having an operation in Texas was not an option,” he said.

Expanding in Texas is a core focus for the company.

“Our vision is to be North America’s dependable source of fresh tomatoes,” he said, and the transition has gone well.

“The Combs team has done an exceptional job integrating into the Lipman family of companies,” he said. “Sales are growing at such a rate we are exploring a new warehouse.”

While the company initially purchased facilities from bankrupt Delta Produce LP in San Antonio last February, Lipman chose Dallas to head its operations in the market.

They’re packing tomatoes, nearly a full line of vegetables and a selection of ethnic offerings.

“We have consolidated the San Antonio operations into our Dallas operations as we had planned to do,” Shoemaker said.