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Ben B. Schwartz & Sons looking forward to CPMA, furthering Toronto business

By
Keith Loria

With more than 115 years of providing excellent service, and led by owners Jake and Drew Billmeyer, who have taken over the reins from their father, Chris Billmeyer, Ben B. Schwartz & Sons continues to be a go-to company for produce by many.

Situated on the Michigan Produce Terminal in Detroit, the company’s distribution network reaches most of the United States and into Canada, and last year, the company expanded its reach further, making big inroads into Toronto.

Being just a short four-hour drive from Detroit, Toronto is a city where the company has had great partnerships for years, but Ben B. Schwartz & Sons has established new partnerships and levered its experience with national retailers in the U.S., to provide the Ontario market with the same type of great service. 

So, with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association show being held in the Ontario capital this year, leadership at Ben B. Schwartz & Sons was excited to make plans to attend.

“We have several people from our merchandising team attending the show to see what is new in the market and looking for new customer trends,” said Jordan Grainger, vice president of sales and business development for the company. “We will be participating in many of the events and I am very excited to be a part of the CPMA 2023 Passion for Produce. Other team members will be walking the show and attending the events.”

Joining Grainger will be Drew Billmeyer and merchandiser Ralph Laderoot. CPMA is very important to the company for a variety of reasons.

“Being in Detroit has some big advantages for product flow between Canada and the U.S.,” Grainger said. “We hope to meet with existing and new customers, find new trends in the market and see if any new consumer trends are happening.”

One of the hot topics that Grainger expects to be talked about on the show floor is labor, which has been on top of the discussion board for a while now. He also believes there will be a lot of talk about the economy and changing consumer trends, and how that’s impacting most in the produce industry in 2023.

So far, business has been trending ahead year-over-year and remains very strong for the company. With the experience it has, the team at Ben B. understands how to face the challenges it is dealing with.

“Ben B. has had steady growth the past 10 years and continues that trajectory,” Grainger said. “We continue to expand where we provide high quality produce. We have introduced new product SKUs based off of our customers purchasing trends.”

Being at CMPA will only help the company continue to succeed in 2023 and beyond, as the show always brings out new ideas and business.

“A successful show is bringing back a new idea, new customer, new contact or expanding our knowledge of the industry,” Grainger said. “Based on my experiences with the CPMA, I have no doubt this year will be another very successful show for Ben B. Schwartz.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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