Dierbergs Markets opens upscale store in Des Peres

Retailer Dierbergs Markets Inc., Chesterfield, Mo., has opened a new upscale market in western St. Louis County, said Steve Duello, produce category manager.

The market is the first of its kind for the company, Duello said.

Located in Des Peres Township at Manchester Road and Interstate 270, the 75,000-square-foot store is among the chain’s biggest and features an entirely new interior and exterior design, he said.

The 24th store in the chain, the Des Peres store will place more emphasis on organic and specialty produce items, Duello said. Shoppers in the produce department will enjoy wider aisles, bigger displays and more samplings and other events.

Tom Lange supplies fruit for record-setting charity games

A vice president in the St. Louis office of Tom Lange Co. Inc. participated in charity baseball and basketball games that set Guinness Book records for length, and the company supplied fresh fruit for participants.

The first game, a basketball game in February at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis, was held to raise money for victims of the Joplin, Mo., tornado, said Jeff Moore, vice president of sales. The game raised $125,000.

Two teams of 12 players, with six players playing while the other six rested, played for 112 hours, setting the record, said Moore, who also played in the game.

The baseball game, held in O’Fallon, Mo., raised $150,000 for Backstoppers, a St. Louis charity for injured policemen, firemen and first responders.

The watermelon, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries supplied by Tom Lange kept participants going, Moore said.

Straub’s produce specialist featured in local magazine

Four-store retail chain William A. Straub is being featured this year in a series of full-page ads in Sauce, a St. Louis magazine.

In August, it will be produce category specialist Greg Lehr’s turn to appear in the ad. A different Straub’s employee is featured every month while the ads run, Lehr said.

Lehr’s ad highlights the Gold Bud Farms summer peaches Straub’s overnights from California, the retailer’s wide variety of fresh-cut produce items produced in-store and its freshly squeezed orange juice, Lehr said.

A quick-response code on the ad offers customers free Gold Bud peaches.

Sun Farm sees major growth in Hispanic produce sales

Sales of Hispanic produce items have soared for Sun Farm Foodservice since the company added salesman Juan Sanchez in 2011, said John Pollaci, the company’s president.

“He sources his own product and has a solid customer base,” Pollaci said. “We’re happy we acquired him.”

Avocados, tomatoes, hot peppers, tomatillos, coconuts and limes are big sellers in Sanchez’s Hispanic line, Pollaci said.

About 90% of Sun Farm’s business goes to foodservice, but it was closer to 100% before Sanchez joined the sales desk.

Vaccaro hires salesman to handle all categories

Dale Vaccaro of Vaccaro & Sons Produce had just two employees when he started in the business about two decades ago. Now he has 30, and the newest one is salesman Kojo Mends.

Mends, who formerly worked for Swiss American Cheese in St. Louis, began working at Vaccaro & Sons this spring, handling sales in all categories the company covers, Vaccaro said.