Longo's Crew Goes On 6 Day Tour of its California Grower Partners
LOS ANGELES, CA - Longo’s recently took its entire produce team to California for a 5 ½ day tour covering more than 1,000 miles while visiting 10 of the retailer’s vendor partners. The crew landed in Los Angeles and made its way to San Francisco; setting off on a endeavor that further demonstrates Longo’s commitment to its team, partners and the industry.
Mimmo Franzone, Longo’s Director of Produce and Floral, tells me, “Our goal is to create as many opportunities as we can to enhance our work environment and improve the consumers’ shopping experience. Our passion for family and food inspires us to continually grow Longo’s current vendor relationships while allowing for more occasions to establish new vendor partnerships.”
Growers visited during the California promotion were Fresh Express, Sun World, D’Arrigo of CA, Country Sweet Produce/Valpredo Farms, Ocean Mist, Growers Express, Calavo, Nunes Co., Paramount Farms and Brandt Farms.
Matt Seeley, VP of Marketing for Foxy Produce/Nunes Co. tells us, “Longo’s is one of the most progressive retailers in North America and their banner is synonymous with premium quality products. For them to make the investment to see our facility - and others in the Salinas Valley - is a testament to the commitment they have to their consumers in bringing the freshest products to market.”
Initiatives for the California promotion included an introduction to the day-to-day operations of Longo’s grower partners in California as well as an in-depth excursion into all categories. The trip provided Longo’s produce team with a great opportunity for personal and professional education, along with a taste of the communities and culture in which the growers call home.
Sun World’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Gordon Robertson, tells us, "We appreciated the opportunity to tour the Longo’s team in the field so they could see and taste proprietary varieties fresh from the vine. They were able to witness all the work Sun World puts into maintaining quality from the field to the store shelves.”
“Now, the Longo’s team can communicate that quality experience with their shoppers – which is one of the things Longo’s does best, and one of the many reasons we value our partnership with them,” Gordon continues.
The 44 attendees included 27 Produce Managers, the Produce Buying and Operations Team and 10 Longo’s family members, as well as a film and photo crew to capture the journey.
“We always find it highly valuable when retail, wholesale and foodservice customers come to our facility to see firsthand how we grow, harvest and cool our products. It’s a tremendous opportunity for them to see the steps and measures we take to produce premium quality fresh vegetables. Understanding the procedures and protocols we follow throughout the entire production process is very eye-opening for those on the other end,” Matt Seeley, reflects.
In addition, the D’Arrigo Family has had a rich history dating back to 1920 of exceptional quality, freshness, service and value and these key attributes align the company with Longo’s fresh tradition.
Claudia Pizarro-Villalobos, Sales Specialist, D’Arrigo Bros, tells us, “The Longo’s California Tour availed the opportunity for a large group of their team to walk through our fields and state-of-the-art cooler to see firsthand what exactly goes on ‘behind the scenes’. Many of the Longo team members left with a great understanding and appreciation of the vertical integration that encompasses our growing, harvesting, packing and shipping practices.”
Longo’s ongoing relationships with vendors have helped the company to consistently deliver a level of quality that has helped to build and expand a loyal consumer base and also continues to attract new ones. Longo’s is constantly seeking to inspire genuine engaging food experiences, while also connecting team members, and creating better lives for the Longo’s staff, customers, vendors & communities.