Eastern Fresh Growers Inc., Cedarville, N.J., finished construction of its packinghouse.

The grower-shipper opened the 28,000-square-foot operation in June.

Eastern Fresh plans to pack its bell peppers and cucumbers in the new operation and continue using its other facility to pack its asparagus and other vegetables, said Tom Sheppard, president.

Sheppard said Eastern Fresh relocated its old packing line to the building, which is large enough to handle construction of a computerized bell pepper packing line, something Eastern Fresh is considering adding.

Eastern Fresh runs its peppers and cucumbers on the same line.

The company plans to use its current line for cucumbers once it constructs another for peppers, Sheppard said.

Eastern Fresh also grows and ships asparagus, lettuce and squash.

Freshwave adds staff, boosts growing regions

Tom Consalo is now director of sales for Freshwave Fruit & Produce LLC, Vineland, N.J.

Consalo, who has worked in the New Jersey produce industry since he was a child, joined the grower-shipper in September.

The son of Thomas Consalo Sr., who died in 2002, Tom Consalo worked in sales for four years for his family’s operation, Wm. Consalo & Sons Farms Inc., Vineland, after graduating with a masters in business administration.

As a child, Tom Consalo worked a variety of jobs there including loading and unloading trucks, quality control and visiting retailers.

During college, Consalo always returned to the business to follow the deal, he said.

“You can’t get it out of your blood,” Consalo said.

“I’ve been lucky to dig into the business end of things over the last five years or so. Everything culminates together when you start from the ground level in loading trucks to marketing.

“That’s a value to have that knowledge when speaking to retailers. It brings meaning to the retailers compared to guys who don’t have that experience.”

In other news, Freshwave has expanded its partnerships with other growing regions.

The grower-shipper developed a partnership with a Florida herb grower-shipper and expanded its blueberry production into south Georgia by becoming the exclusive sales agent for Farmer John LLC, Alma, Ga.

Graiff Farms expands specialty onion sales

Daniel Graiff Farms LLC, Newfield, N.J., is selling peeled cippolini, shallots and red and white pearl onions in retail stores in the Northeast.

The fresh-cut processor and distributor in March of 2011 began selling its specialty onions to foodservice customers.

In November, it began marketing the six- and 12-count, 8-ounce clamshells to retailers, said Jamie Graiff, partner and sales manager.

Graiff Farms also processes and ships baby arugula and baby spinach from New Jersey and other growing regions.