(Aug. 9) KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Carol’s Cuts, the fresh-cut division of Liberty Fruit Co. Inc., plans to double its volume in the next three months.

The processing business started with six employees and 1,500 square feet in 2001 and expanded in 2003. The most recent expansion, which was unveiled Aug. 8, gives the company 40 employees in a 13,000-square-foot facility that includes 10,500 square feet of processing space.

“We had already outgrown the facility we were in,” said Liberty president Allen Caviar. “In order to grow, we had to expand.”

Caviar said Carol’s Cuts produces about 75,000 pounds of fresh-cut produce each week, or nearly 4 million pounds per year. He said the company has additional business lined up that will double its volume, but the company had to wait for the expansion to be completed to meet that demand.

Caviar said the company’s top-selling fresh-cut items had been onions, potatoes and tomatoes, but he expects new accounts made possible by the expanded facility to make fresh-cut fruit the top seller.

Andy Physioc, director of business development, said the updated facility has the capacity to produce 250,000 pounds a week. Caviar said he expects the company to produce 10 million to 12 million pounds in its first year in the upgraded facility.

Carol’s Cuts produces more than 200 items and serves customers within a 400-mile radius of Kansas City. Physioc said the facility’s increased volume allows Liberty to handle bigger accounts and more broadline business and to serve its wholesale accounts better. He said the construction project tripled the cold storage space of the facility, which is third-party certified for food safety.

Liberty Fruit looks to double fresh-cut volume
Secretary-treasurer Carol Caviar cuts the ribbon during the opening of the expanded facility at Carol’s Cuts, the fresh-cut division of Kansas City, Kan.-based Liberty Fruit Co. Inc.