Sun Belle Inc. has opened an 82,000-s.f. refrigerated distribution facility with nine docks in Miami, Florida. Adjoining Miami International Airport, the facility is 15 minutes from the port of Miami and close to the Palmetto Expressway, Florida Turnpike and I-95. Sun Belle is using the facility for fresh berries and other produce it markets and distributes on behalf of its growers and is providing third-party handling for perishables on behalf of other importers and distributors.
“Sun Belle has had Miami operations for more than 16 years,” said Janice Honigberg, company founder and president. “This is Sun Belle’s third home in Miami. We bought this facility in early 2017 and built it out to our specifications so we would have enough room for our growing berry business as well as to provide handling services for others. Our company’s policy has always been to be hands-on with the product we sell, handle and distribute.
“We are very experienced in maintaining the cold chain and have ensured that perishables can be loaded and unloaded, handled and stored without breaking temperature,” Honigberg said. “In addition, we have an experienced team of re-graders and sorters who can ensure perishables make arrivals at their ultimate destination.
“Sun Belle Miami operates seven days a week. We take pride in fulfilling deliveries completely and on time and being responsive to truckers, suppliers and customers alike,” she added.
Sun Belle’s new facility is Primus Global Food Safety (GFS), Organic and Demeter Biodynamic certified and operates around the clock. The company is exploring the efficacy of installing automated blueberry sorting equipment in order to pack bulk berries.
The new facility is directed by Mariella Marrero, who has been Sun Belle Miami’s GM since 2006.
“Mariella, as an expert and experienced perishables facilities manager, helped ensure that this facility was designed and completed to meet top industry standards and needs,” Honigberg said. “Her challenge was to implement a build-out that was almost five times the size of the distribution center she also helped create in 2006 for Sun Belle on 70th Avenue.”