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Growing organically at D’Arrigo New York

Founded on July 4, 1948, D’Arrigo New York has grown to be one of the largest produce suppliers in the Northeast. Operating out of the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, D’Arrigo New York services nearly 900 retail and foodservice customers in a roughly 200-to 300-mile radius of the city.DNY-Truck-1-web

As part of an expansion plan, about a year ago D’Arrigo New York opened an additional facility directly across the street from it Hunts Point flagship that has allowed it to expand into additional product lines, including bananas and organics, which were taken on in mid-September.

“Organic is something new for us,” said Gabriela D’Arrigo, vice president of marketing. “It is actually very new for the Hunts Point Market as a whole. Hunts Point is not historically known as an organic market. We’re one of the companies that is sort of stepping out of that bubble and stepping into the organic world, because at this point in time you kind of have to offer organics.”

D’Arrigo New York is starting slowly with its organic offerings. “Initially we are starting with a lot of the veg items — baby greens, spinaches, spring mix, collards, dandelions — but eventually we will be covering a much wider array of items,” D’Arrigo said, noting that the items have been catching on very quickly. “Dandelion is actually a very popular item here; we sell quite a bit of it. It is more of a bitter item, and historically was eaten by Italian households, but now it is being used in a lot of juicing.”

The addition of bananas has helped the company broaden its customer reach. “Bananas are the highest volume item in our industry,” D’Arrigo said. “With our new banana business that we’ve gotten into in the last year that has added to the customers that we are going after.”

D’Arrigo New York also distributes the Andy Boy brand, which accounts for approximately 7 percent of total company sales.

Other items that have been growing in sales at D’Arrigo New York are mushrooms and cauliflower.

“The veganism, the vegan lifestyle of meat replacement meals, is starting to take off,” D’Arrigo said. “It is not a crazy influx here at Hunts Point, but across New York City and its suburbs, in restaurants, meat replacement with the vegetable being the center of the plate is really catching on, especially with cauliflower steaks, cauliflower ‘rice’ and a whole bunch of other items. Mushrooms and cauliflower are probably the two biggest game changers that I’ve seen in the last two years.”

D’Arrigo New York operates a fleet of 50 delivery trucks. Dispatchers work with the drivers to give them the best routes to ensure that product is delivered to its final source fresh and on-time, offering its clients peace of mind.

The company also prides itself on the quality of its cold chain. Routine monitoring and documentation of the temperature of refrigerated areas is conducted religiously, ensuring its customers get the very best fresh produce available on the wholesale market.