Riggio carries on family legacy in Detroit
As an anchor tenant on the Detroit Produce Terminal, Riggio Distribution Co. is a trusted, full-service, fresh produce distributor and wholesaler, servicing the entire Midwest from its home base.
The company employs a fleet of refrigerated trucks and offers warehouse to warehouse, as well as direct store delivery to all accounts. Its client roster includes both retail and foodservice, as it offers a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables that are shipped and received seven days a week to both corporate and independent customers of all sizes.
“Our customers are national retail chains, independent retailers, national wholesalers, independent wholesalers, food manufacturers and broadline distributors,” said Dominic Riggio, president of Riggio Distribution. “With all of our valued customers, it comes down to personal relationships based on trust. After the trust is earned, quality, value and service is what keeps the relationship strong.”
It’s been a crazy couple of years for the company as it has dealt with all the challenges of the pandemic and inflation, but Riggio Distribution continues to be a valued partner.
“Business in 2022 was strong and also very interesting — inflation, supply chain and weather played a huge part in market conditions and we saw very high wholesale costs ultimately raising retail pricing as well,” Riggio said. “As a fresh produce provider, challenges come in all forms every day. Solving problems and taking on challenges is in our blood in this industry.”
On a day-to-day basis, that could be something completely new as he noted the business is never on cruise control.
“At Riggio Distribution, we view every challenge as an opportunity, and with no shortage of challenges, there is no shortage of opportunities,” Riggio said.
The Riggio family has been servicing Detroit and Southeast Michigan for decades and has many strong relationships in the area.
“Our family history in this area starts with our grandfather who immigrated to Detroit from Terrasini, Sicily,” Riggio said. “Like so many immigrants looking for work, he found opportunity in the food industry and became a produce peddler. Our father continued in the business and today we are a third-generation produce family.”
Working in Detroit has been a key to the company’s success as Riggio believes it’s a top produce town in the nation.
“Many things make the Detroit produce industry thrive including the diverse population and vibrant restaurant and culinary scene,” Riggio said. “But most importantly is the relationship of the independent retailers and foodservice providers and the Terminal Market wholesalers working together.”
With the calendar having turned to 2023, the company’s leaders are looking to expand this year and continue growing its business.
“We are always working on growth opportunities with new and existing customers and suppliers,” Riggio said. “There are daily ideas and conversations leading to strategic planning; however, we know that in our industry many opportunities come along when you don’t expect them to. Part of our strategy is to remain nimble enough to react and capitalize on the opportunities we did not plan for as well as the ones we did plan on.”
While working in a family-owned company has its challenges, Riggio noted the rewards greatly outweigh any issues.
“I work with my father and two brothers every day and that is a blessing that I am very proud of,” he said. “As I became a father myself, I recognized some of the things my father went through with his three sons — getting everyone to work together and on the same page is no easy task.”