Riggio Distribution Co. changes with the times

When you work in the Michigan wholesale produce business, Dominic Riggio, president of Riggio Distribution Co., noted there’s always something new going on in the industry and something to keep things interesting.

“From the changing of the seasons to a new business opportunity, we are never stagnate,” he said. “The nature of our business keeps us on our toes and constantly evolving and changing.” 

As one of the largest produce wholesalers servicing the Midwest, Detroit-based Riggio Distribution Co. touches on all aspects of the industry, with its complete selection of fresh fruits and vegetables shipped seven days a week to retail and foodservice customers, and sourced from Michigan-based growers.

michiganproduce “There’s no secret to success other than knowing that there is no secret. Produce is a 24/7 job that requires close attention to the details, and as long as you do that, you will succeed,” Riggio said. “We source product from all over the world by air, boat, truck, and train, and take pride in sourcing locally grown product as much as possible when available.”

Riggio’s customers consist of corporate retailers, independent retailers, broad line distributers, independent food service wholesalers, as well as processors and producers. The company is one of the anchor tenants at the Detroit Produce Terminal and has helped Detroit thrive as a produce city.

“What makes our company special is our people.” Riggio said. “We have a team that crosses generations and with that we benefit from different styles. We all work towards a common goal by using the influence of the old-school fundamentals mixed with the younger generations technology and the complement one another very well.”

So far in 2019, Riggio has seen a very strong start despite some very tough weather conditions in the area. 

“It’s been a challenge to have two good weather days in a row in the Midwest, but we have done well and kept our product lines moving,” Riggio said.

One of the growth areas the company is seeing is in organics, thanks to handling hundreds of organic SKUs on a daily basis. The category has become a consistent part of Riggio’s inventory and sales. For example, Riggio is the exclusive distributor for big companies like Earthbound Farm and Cal Organics, and has partnered with some local greenhouses to help keeps some hard-to-fill SKUs available all year long.

The biggest challenge the company faces is labor with Riggio explaining that with the economy doing so well and businesses expanding it has been a challenge to find quality labor in the current environment.

Still, like any problem that has come along in the company’s long history, Riggio and his team roll with the punches and find solutions that work for them and their customers, and it’s one of the reasons that it continues to prosper.

“We are built and raised to solve problems and work though challenges daily,” Riggio said.

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