Coosemans broadens its product offerings

Coosemans Atlanta Inc. has expanded its refrigeration space and has added more space at the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park, Ga.

The specialties purveyor added 6,000 square feet of refrigeration in the back of its existing facility.

The new cooling space has technology improvements in refrigeration, lighting and electronic door openings, said Brian Young, general manager.

Coosemans has also procured 28,000 square feet of warehouse space by moving into a second location on the terminal market.

In early February, Coosemans took delivery of the space, which was previously occupied by Taylor Farms, Salinas, Calif., and later, Halls Produce.

To counter declining specialties orders, Coosemans is also broadening its commodity offerings.

Young said Coosemans is expanding from its 650 items to 700 items by adding commodities such as red, green, rainbow and swiss chard and increasing its sales of heirloom and roma tomatoes. It also is considering entering the tomato repacking business.

“There have been times where we have had the philosophy of if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, as 650 items are plenty to keep you busy and challenged with your procurement and sales,” Young said.

“As the economy started to soften, we decided to bring in items that we haven’t handled in the past. We are procuring more packages through the system and increasing revenues.”

Young said Coosemans is also considering adding broccoli crowns.

General Produce eyes expansion

General Produce Inc., Atlanta, marks its 50th anniversary this year.

The distributor, which turned 50 in February, plans to host a party during the late spring or early summer when the weather is more favorable, said Andrew Scott, sales and procurement manager.

Hiram Folds, 80, who purchased the company in 1976 from founder J.A. Morgan, visits the office two to three days a week but lessened his involvement in 2000 and leaves the running of the company to his son and daughter, Calvin Folds, president, and Jeannie Springfield, vice president.

Springfield said she and her brother learned much from their father.

General Produce is also eyeing a new location for its Thomasville, Ga., warehouse.

Scott said the distributor, which sends trucks throughout the Southeast and as far south as Miami, has outgrown its Cairo, Ga., operation.

“Business has been good down there especially for the independent retailers,” he said.

J.J. Jardina installs inventory system

J.J. Jardina Co. Inc., Atlanta, is upgrading its inventory management system.

The distributor in March installed an inventory management system designed to help improve Jardina’s food safety accounting, product tracking, country of origin and other issues, said Mike Jardina, president.

“This is a very large investment, which should pay itself back very quickly, especially with inventories,” he said. “We can track inventories down to the package with this system.”

Nickey Gregory moves into new building

The Nickey Gregory Co. Inc., Forest Park, Ga., has expanded operations.  

In September, the wholesaler  moved into a 58,000 square foot warehouse formerly occupied by Taylor Farms, Salinas, Calif. 

Nickey Gregory’s older operation was 23,000 square feet ,and the move gives the firm two facilities on the Atlanta State Farmers Market.

“We were doing more business out of our old building than we had room to handle,” said Andrew Moste, sales manager.

“We are more organized and are receiving and shipping much easier now.  We are able to get product out to customers quicker and are able to slot more items.”

Nickey Gregory, president and owner, said the new warehouse allows the company to carry more specialty items it wasn’t physically able to handle.

Phoenix Wholesale improves online ordering

Collins Bros. Corp., Forest Park, Ga., sister company to Phoenix Wholesale Foodservice Inc., is expanding its online retail ordering services.

Collins in January installed a new online entry order program that allows retail customers to more efficiently order their produce through a customized system, said David Collins III, Phoenix’s president.

Instead of having to view 20 sizes of apples, the service shows customers the sizes they regularly order and allows regimented and seasonal program customers to adjust their orders to meet their needs, he said.

Sutherland’s acquires specialties overnight

Sutherland’s Foodservice Inc., Atlanta, now receives high-end specialty produce through RP Gourmet, a part of Frosty Acres broadline buying group.

Though the broadline foodservice distributor has always sourced specialty produce for its customers, Diana Earwood, Sutherland’s vice president, said the RP Gourmet service provides overnight deliveries.

“This is a brand new way for our customers in case they need something sourced quickly,” she said.