Baloian Farms' Luis Corella Discusses Growth of Nogales, Arizona, Operation
NOGALES, AZ - As consumers transition their eating habits to include more better-for-you options, consistently filling their baskets with fruits and veggies, the need for year-round produce offerings is on the rise. To meet this demand, Baloian Farms is utilizing its Nogales, Arizona, operation and Mexico programs to bring high-quality products to retail and foodservice customers year-round.
“By having this Nogales operation, Baloian Farms can serve our customers with quality product without any interruptions, striving for seamless transitions between growing regions,” explains Luis Corella, Regional Manager for Baloian Farms Mexico. “Our strict quality control at a company level, both domestically and abroad, gives us the ability to service our broad customer base which ranges from retail, foodservice, and wholesale markets.”
The Nogales office has been in operation for 10 years and is comprised of associates specializing in sales, quality control, warehouse management, field operations, and transportation. Through the hub, Baloian can support its Mexican grower partners from the Hermosillo, Sonora, region down to Culiacan, Sinaloa, with its primary season out of the areas extending from early October through mid-June.
Baloian’s Nogales Warehouse’s proximity to these growing fields and packing sheds leads to shortened transit times for its customers and expedited loading, which in turn translates to fresher products and increased shelf-life for shoppers.
Currently, cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash, bell peppers−and soon Brussel sprouts−are moving through the Nogales operation in anticipation of new commodities and services being offered as it continues to expand.
“We have grown for eight consecutive years in terms of increase in the volume of packages received, and we have broadened the line of commodities we handle, allowing for us to work with more customers and achieve incremental growth,” says Luis. “Moving forward, we are looking to offer additional capabilities including consolidation, repack, and increased warehousing space."
In addition to serving as a hub for Mexico-grown products, the Nogales location is also used as a cross-dock for products that will be shipped to the company’s other distribution centers located in Fresno, Thermal, and Los Angeles, California as traffic routes and holding temperatures differ by time of year and commodity.
Another key function of the warehouse is servicing Baloian’s value-added customers by packing product into Pam Pak and Baloian Farms bags, as this segment of the company’s business has become increasingly important to its customer base.
While offering a wide range of resources and top-notch products to its customers and consumers is one of Baloian’s top priorities, Luis tells me that another vital facet of the company’s operation is customer service, and to ensure that its clients are satisfied, communication is key.
“There is nothing more satisfying than providing the best possible experience for our customers,” he comments. “To accomplish this, Baloian Nogales communicates closely with our other field offices year-round and uses similar strategies at all locations, enabling us to load customer trucks on time, anticipate their needs, and be proactive in tackling any unforeseen situations.”
With the expansion of this successful hub in Baloian’s crosshairs, what will be the grower’s next move? Only time and AndNowUKnow will tell, so keep a tab open for us.