Excitement is stirring at Ben B. Schwartz & Sons
The excitement is palpable right now at Ben B. Schwartz & Sons, according to Bill Loupee, chief operating officer at the Detroit-based company, which serves local and national chain stores, as well as foodservice providers.
“We’re continuing the upward growth trajectory, which was kick-started by owners Jake and Drew Billmeyer, by professionalizing our staff and refining our work culture,” Loupee shared with The Produce News. “We’re using technology and process automation to do more with less. We’re attracting and hiring some of the best people in the industry who have big goals.”
Speaking of new hires within the company, Ben B. recently hired Jordan Grainger as its new vice president of sales and business development. Grainger was previously vice president of sales at Castellini Co. “Jordan has had an immediate impact due to his good reputation in the industry with both our shippers and our retailers,” Loupee said.
While Ben B. Schwartz & Sons serves the entire eastern U.S., especially the Midwest and Ontario, Loupee said the company is lucky to be in a city where independent chains are so strong. Business on the Detroit Produce Terminal Market, he added, is very strong which provides the company with the ability to bring in a lot of product, turning inventory very quickly, and resulting in extremely fresh produce for its customers. “The system perpetuates itself in that way,” he said.
Ben B. delivers as far south as Texas, as far east as Connecticut, as far north as Montreal and as far west as Iowa — as well as everywhere in between. The company carries a full line of the freshest fruits and vegetables, including both conventional and organic varieties, as well as specialty items. “We do this through a combination of logistics experience to coordinate our driver team on a just-in-time basis, and also by leveraging lane density with consistent routes and multiple customers placing orders in various metropolitan markets,” Loupee said.
While many companies have faced logistic issues and freight cost challenges over the past couple of years, Ben B. has remained committed to its customers and done all it can to foster those relationships.
“We understand relationships are just as important in logistics and freight as they are in buying and selling produce,” Loupee said. “We retain capacity and control costs by properly managing our fleet as well as keeping strong relationships with third-party carriers. Consistent volume, trust, and fair treatment when issues arise are something that we’ve used to create solid relationship foundations with carriers.”