Auerbach's move boosts food safety

Six months after having moved the company headquarters about 10 miles to a new, bigger building, Maurice A. Auerbach says its food safety program has gotten the biggest lift.

“We moved to develop a higher-quality food safety program,” said Bruce Klein, marketing director.

The company moved from its old location in South Hackensack, N.J., to a new 60,000-square-foot office, warehouse and distribution center in Seacaucus, N.J.

Brooks Tropicals unleashes dragon fruit

Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals Inc. is introducing dragon fruit in late June and brought Thai guava into its product lineup in the spring, said Mary Ostlund, marketing director.

“Thai guava helped boost overall sales of guava. Retailers and wholesalers should take note,” Ostlund said.

Hurst’s Berry Farm moves to bigger place

Hurst’s Berry Farm Inc. and its marketing arm, HBF International LLC, have been on the move. The company moved its headquarters from its old base in its Sheridan, Ore., packing facility, to McMinnville, Ore., about 14 miles away, said Jaysen Weidner, sales manager.

The move was completed May 1, he said.

“We need more space,” he said, adding that the packing shed remains in Sheridan.

The new location has 6,000 square feet of office space, Weidner said.

In mid-May, the company also opened an office in Fresno, Calif., which is closer to the berry-growing operation of Doug Perkins, a partner in HBF International, Weidner said.

Also in May, Hurst’s hired McKenzie Rosenberry as a second food safety director, based in McMinnville.

Infinite Herbs names marketing specialist

Kaitlyn McCarthy, a marketing graduate from Johnson & Wales University, Miami, has joined Miami-based Infinite Herbs and Specialties to handle marketing and promotion duties, said Camilo Penaloso, vice president of business development.

McCarthy’s job focuses on working on bringing Infinite Herbs closer to clients through customer support, feedback on new product ideas and other initiatives, Penaloso said.

Mex Flores ships seedless watermelon

Houston-based Mex Flores Produce Co. Inc. is in the midst of its first seedless watermelon program out of Mexico, said Alex Flores, co-owner.

The season started in mid-May and goes four to six weeks, he said.

“We try new items and see how they work,” he said.

The company’s melons are distributed nationwide out of its warehouse in Edinburg, Texas, he said.

Acreage this year is around 80-90, Flores said.

Whether that number increases or decreases depends on the program’s success, Flores said, adding that two growers are providing product this year.

“We’ll see how it goes,” he said.

Rock Garden South offers two new lines

Miami-based Rock Garden South, a subsidiary of Miami-based Coosemans Worldwide, is launching two product lines this year.

Rock Garden South launched its retail microgreen product, MicroMix, at the May 1-3 United Fresh 2012 convention in Dallas.

“We’re debuting four flavor points that are going to be distributed to retailers throughout the South shortly,” Jeff Bruff, general manager, said, adding there also is interest from national retail accounts.

The mixtures, he added, are as follows: Kale Combo, Veggies Galore, Italian Blend and Spicy Selection.

“Each has a different mixture of microgreens to give them a unique balance and flavor profile,” Bruff said.

The microgreens, scheduled to debut in June, are all Florida-grown, he said.

Rock Garden South also is offering pomegranate arils for the first time, Bruff said.

The arils likely will be available this year through September, but next year they will be shipped year-round, Bruff said. For retailers, the product will come in a cup that holds around 4.5 ounces, he added.

Melissa’s introduces blue velvet apricot

Vernon, Calif.-based World Variety Produce Inc., which markets specialty products under the Melissa’s brand, is debuting a blue velvet apricot this year, said Robert Schueller, public relations director.

The item is available for just a few weeks in June, he said.

The company also will offer its black muscato grape for the second year, and that will start in late June or early July, Schueller said.

“Volume is pretty good. We have a month at the beginning of the season in late June or early July for black muscato and in September, and in between, we’ll have the green and red muscato grapes from mid-July to early September,” he said.