Former M&C salesmen join Hunter Bros.

Hunter Bros. Inc., Philadelphia, has added two salesmen who used to work for another longtime store on the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market.

Brothers Rich Jones and Bill Jones handle western vegetables and lettuce for Hunter Bros.

Chip Wiechec, president, said the two possess a lot of industry experience and bring strong foodservice business to Hunter Bros.

The two previously worked for the Philadelphia-based M&C Produce Co. Inc. and Ellis Fleisher Produce Co.

Fleisher closed its doors in 2007 and M&C shut down in November 2009.

The Jones brothers each have more than 20 years produce industry sales.

Levin to install
ripening rooms

M. Levin & Co Inc., Philadelphia, plans to install six banana-ripening rooms at the new Philadelphia Regional Produce Market.

Business Updates: Philadelphia Know Your Market

Doug Ohlemeier

Mark Levin, co-owner of M Levin & Co Inc., examines some tropical fruits at Levin’s warehouse across the street from the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market.

Mark Levin, co-owner of M. Levin & Co Inc., said the banana and tropicals distributor also is modernizing operations by installing a new computer system.

The new one updates a 15- to 20-year-old system, he said.

“When we move in there, everything we have will be state of the art, from new phones to coolers to ripening rooms,” Levin said.

Nardella plans an update to its website
Nardella Inc., Philadelphia, is planning to give its website,, a makeover.

The distributor expects to finish making major changes to the site and have it operational when the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market relocates, said Richard Nardella, chief executive and financial officer,

“In the future, this website might be more useful,” he said. “A lot of customers in the market don’t use the computer as much as they should. It’s a way of the future, though. My grandkids will use it more than me.”

John Vena Inc. achieves
food safety certification

John Vena Inc. has achieved U.S. Department of Agriculture and food safety certification.

The Philadelphia-based distributor received the certification during the spring.

Adam Desmond, Vena’s food safety coordinator, said customers requested Vena have its operations certified.

He said good handling practices involve assembling a plan and being able to demonstrate that you can operate under that plan.

Desmond said the certification makes Vena the first distributor on the market to achieve such safety compliance.

In other news, Vena in June added two employees.

James DeMarsh started as transportation coordinator and Joseph Menei became business development director.

DeMarsh has worked in production, buying and sales for organic growers in Tuscrora, Pa., and Houstontown, Pa.; Philadelphia distributor Common Market; and Wards Berry Farms, Sharon, Mass.

Menei, who has more than 25 years wholesale distribution and retail experience, worked for M. Levin & Co Inc., Philadelphia; Black River Produce, Springfield, Vt.; and Kegels Produce, Lancaster, Pa.

Menei also owned retail produce stores in Tunbridge, Vt., and West Hartford, Vt.

Menei is coordinating Vena’s move to the new produce market, said John Vena Jr., president.