Mastronardi Produce® Announces New Laredo, Texas, Facility
KINGSVILLE, ON, CANADA & LAREDO, TX - If there is one place known for shooting for bigger and better, it’s Texas. Taking this to heart with its latest expansion plan, Mastronardi Produce® has announced that it is opening a new 185,000-square-foot facility in Laredo, Texas, near its current distribution center.
“Laredo has been a very important location for us for many years, but we’ve outgrown our old facility,” Paul Mastronardi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mastronardi Produce, said. “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.”
At triple the size of the old location, the new facility 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.
Customized to the company’s needs, Mastronardi said in a press release that 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 leading retailers and foodservice operators in the region.
The new 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
- Multi-temperature cooling zones that will allow for storage of commodities that require varied temperature control, such as berries and lettuce
“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,” John Hemeon, Chief Operating Officer, commented. “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.”
Strategically located near the Pharr-Reynosa Bridge, where much of the nation’s produce crosses from Mexico, the new facility is planned to be ideal for efficient transportation. With 78 dock doors, it will also significantly increase the speed and efficiency of cross-docking, served by an ever-growing network of farms that will also benefit from the increased efficiencies.
While the facility already employs many of the same staff from the former facility, with the expanded space and demand the company is looking to expand its workforce across multiple positions.
“Mastronardi’s continued commitment to the Laredo community is based on its partnership with the Laredo Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce. Their continued support of private enterprise and growth in the area contributed to our decision to expand our presence in the area,” Chad Mead, Chief Administrative Officer, said. “We’d like to especially thank the Laredo EDC and the City of Laredo for their support.”
Mastronardi Produce has already begun using the new facility for cross-dock transfers and expects the facility to be fully operational within 90 days.
In line with its history of aggressive distribution and share growth, the move comes just after Mastronardi’s announcement that it will be opening a distribution center in British Columbia. And with room for on-site expansion to the newest DC in the future, it seems safe to say that there is more up the expanding grower’s sleeve to look out for.