Home » Mastronardi Produce To Open New Omnichannel DC In Laredo, Texas

Mastronardi Produce To Open New Omnichannel DC In Laredo, Texas

Laredo

Mastronardi Produce, a greenhouse pioneer that sells and markets fresh fruits and vegetables under the Sunset brand, has announced the opening of a new 185,000-square-foot facility in Laredo, Texas, near its current distribution center. Customized to the company’s needs, the warehouse was designed to efficiently provide pick-and-pack operations in support of the ever-increasing demand for Sunset-branded fruits and vegetables from retailers and foodservice operators in the region.

The move comes just after Mastronardi’s announcement that it will be opening a distribution center in British Columbia and is in line with its history of aggressive distribution and share growth.

Paul Mastronardi

“Laredo has been a very important location for us for many years, but we’ve outgrown our old facility,” said Paul Mastronardi, president and CEO. “With this new facility, we are significantly increasing our ability to efficiently service customers across the Southern region of the U.S. with the freshest, highest quality Sunset produce.”

The new Laredo facility will feature an upgraded, state-of-the-art operating system for inventory tracking, customer fulfillment, receiving, shipping and tracing of produce from farms to consumers. It will include multi-temp cooling zones that will allow for storage of the company’s newer commodities that require varied temperature control, such as berries and lettuce. And more importantly, at triple the size of the old location, it also brings additional value-added packing for the company in the South, reducing transportation times and enabling more direct shipments of fresh Sunset produce to customers in that region.

With 78 dock doors, the new facility also will significantly increase the speed and efficiency of cross-docking. The DC will be served by an ever-growing network of farms which will benefit from the increased efficiencies obtained by the new facility. The site also includes room for expansion in the future.

“We are always looking to optimize our nationwide network of distribution centers and improve our operations. Today, we operate nine distribution centers totaling over one million square feet of cooled warehouse and distribution space, and each operates in partnership with our customers to reduce food miles while increasing shelf life and in doing so, their profitability,” said John Hemeon, chief operating officer. “The expanded omnichannel facility allows us to increase our own efficiencies and distribute a wider range of Sunset branded fruits and vegetables with its multiple temperature zones. It also allows the company to better meet the increased customer demand and provide even greater value in the face of the changes in retail and foodservice brought on by the challenges of the pandemic and its aftermath.”

The Laredo facility is strategically located near the World Trade Bridge where much of the nation’s produce crosses from Mexico, making it ideal for efficient transportation. The facility employs many of the same staff from the former facility, but with the expanded space and demand the company is looking to expand its workforce across multiple positions. On-the-job training is provided. Applicants can apply through sunsetgrown.com/careers.

The company already has begun using the new facility for cross-dock transfers and expects the facility to be fully operational within 90 days.

Mastronardi Produce grows and markets nationally recognized products under the Sunset brand, including Campari, Flavor Bombs and Angel Sweet tomatoes.

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