ESU goes above and beyond with quality and service
ESU, a New Jersey-based produce importer and distributor specializing in sourcing top-quality citrus and other produce items from around the world, is embarking a new phase of growth as one of the fast-growing leaders in the industry.
The company’s name, ESU, is short for Excellent Sources Unlimited, according to Steven H., general manager. As such, the company strives to work with only the very best growers from around the world to ensure the best quality and service to its customers.
“We are dedicated to delivering products that go above and beyond the standards,” he said. “We are not limited by geographic boundaries, and our potential for growth and scalability is unlimited.”
ESU was founded in 2010 by Tommy Suh, who is the CEO. Prior to ESU, Suh amassed more than 30 years of relevant first-hand experience, working as a grower, distributor and retailer. In that time, he discovered the opportunity to import premium quality produce from across the globe, especially when availability of such items in the U.S. was limited.
“Since its inception, ESU has experienced significant growth, broadening our relationships with premier growers across the world and continuing to supply our clients with excellent products and services,” said Suh. “Our mission is to accelerate the delivery of the world’s freshest produce to every state, county and town. We feel a responsibility to transform the U.S. produce industry by setting a new standard of excellence as one of the largest global importers of produce.”
“In 2012, I met Tommy in Peru, and I joined his journey in the importing business,” said Paul Bottger, director of business development. “What began as just one container soon multiplied to two, then 10, 500, and eventually over 1,000 containers, and we are still seeing an increase in volume every year. This success is largely attributed to Tommy's strong work ethic and determination to source the finest fruits from around the world. ESU, our enterprise, has experienced rapid growth, and there is still tremendous potential for expansion. I am committed to fostering relationships with growers to ensure a steady supply of the freshest produce for our customer.”
Among the items ESU provides are a full line of citrus (mandarins, tangerines, minneolas, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc.), as well as pomegranates, grapes, persimmons, and peeled garlic. While citrus and pomegranates are the key items in ESU’s lineup, premium Korean peeled garlic offers excellent growth opportunities for the company in the near future.
Danny Y., ESU’s director of procurement, said citrus stands out as a pivotal commodity. “Our program revolves around ensuring availability, embracing diverse varieties, sourcing strategically and facilitating efficient distribution across the United States,” he said.
He added that ESU’s citrus operations encompass 14-plus countries, including Israel and Morocco during the winter season, and Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, South Africa, Chile and Australia during the summer months. With procuring produce from different continents and countries all over the world, ESU is able to offer the best quality produce year-round.
Pomegranates are another significant commodity for ESU, according to Danny, and imports are strategically timed to bridge the gap between the end of California’s growing season and the start of next year’s harvest.
“Our pomegranates are sourced from the top growers in Israel, Peru, Argentina and Chile,” he said. This extensive network of suppliers all over the world is what gives ESU its potential as we are able to consistently supply excellent produce no matter what season. “Importing produce is not just a business for us, it is our livelihood, and the relationship we have with our growers is family-like.”
ESU’s distribution currently exceeds 15 states across the nation, and the sales team is committed to bridging connections in other states in which ESU has not yet expanded to, according to Stella S., director of sales.
“One of our distinct strengths lies in our larger-sized mandarins (Orri, Honey Tangerine, W Murcott, Tango, Nadorcott, etc.), which we were initially focusing on for our Asian wholesale and retail customer-base, but we are now supplying all nationalities,” she said.
She added that retail customers can benefit greatly from working with ESU, as the company stresses top quality and timely supply.
“We put a major emphasis on prompt, fresh delivery of our products,” said Steven. “ESU is not just importing produce, we’re reshaping the entire U.S. produce industry. We aspire to be the largest global importer and to ensure that every fruit meets world-class criteria.”
With ESU’s vast and continually growing global network, any gaps between harvesting seasons can easily be filled from produce from overseas.
While ESU has made great strides in the 13 years it has been in business, Steven said the company has its sights set on further growth. “ESU is committed to recruiting top talent to bring our vision to fruition,” he said. “We have assembled a business development team to establish and nurture strong relationships with customers, partners and other stakeholders to foster collaboration and mutual growth.”
In conclusion, Steven said ESU would continue to go “above and beyond” by following the blueprint of its founder, which was working with only the top growers and providing its customers with the very best quality and service.