McALLEN, TX— New customer relationships are driving the growth of GR Fresh.
To accommodate that expansion, the firm this fall is breaking ground for a new 120,000-square-foot cold warehouse. The project is far behind schedule because of civic bureaucracy, but Tony Incaviglia, vice president sales and marketing, hopes to be in the facility in a year. The warehouse will be near the current location within the McAllen Produce Market.
With growing sales opportunities with an expanding list of foodservice and retail customers, “we need to fill gaps in supplies, which we’re doing by developing other growing areas” in Mexico. Currently GR Fresh grows in eight Mexican states.
“We’re building relationships with growing partners to close November and December gaps in order to keep relationships with our customers.”
GR Fresh is a strong supplier of Roma and grape tomatoes, Bell and hot peppers, eggplant, squash and other products.
“Our product offerings have grown. We’ll have 10 to 20 percent more volume availability” than in the past, and the new warehouse will be a big asset in handling greater inventory, he added.
“We are a full service shipper. We provide our foodservice and retail customers with consolidation of McAllen-grown product.”
This year was the fifth year for GR Fresh to offer Mexican pomegranates. Normally, that deal runs from Aug. 1 to early October, but the deal was short and late this season. A year ago, the Torreon pomegranate orchards endured a freeze. This reduced the volume at least by 50 percent. “The arils were great; they were good and juicy. But there was scarring” which reduced consumer appeal for fresh sales. Still, “for the juicing market, it’s been great” this fall.
“The trees will be back next year,” Incaviglia indicated.