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Maurice A. Auerbach satisfying existing customers

maurice22 Maurice A. Auerbach Inc. has long been a leader when it comes to garlic on the East Coast. Packing its products under the AuerPak brand name, the company specializes in garlic, shallots and other specialty items, including tropical and Asian produce. It also handles organic garlic, shallots and tofu.

The company, with more than 80 years of history behind it, has adjusted to the new normal of working in a COVID-19 world, with employees working from home or social distancing in the office.

“We are keeping things going the best we can,” said Bruce Klein, director of marketing for the Secaucus, NJ-based company. “Our business is split into different categories; we have the retailer chain business, the wholesale business where we sell to the markets, the foodservice business and we’re lucky enough to have them in different areas, and most are doing well.”

Maurice A. Auerbach is very stringent in every part of the business, including only allowing one person at each packaging table and constant monitoring of hand washing and all CDC guidelines.

“We have two people cleaning constantly, we have been cleaning our trucks and we’re trying to have the same drivers use the same trucks whenever possible,” Klein said. “Everything is being cleaned much more frequently, and we’ll be doing this in the future.”

The company imports garlic from all over the world, including organic garlic from California and Mexico, bringing in Spanish-peeled, California-peeled and Mexican-peeled garlic.

“When people started only cooking from home at the beginning of all this, they started looking at recipes and garlic is in almost every recipe, so garlic sales started to go crazy, as did ginger sales,” Klein said. “People heard there were a lot of health benefits for ginger and garlic, so that also fueled business. For a time, there was a shortage because people couldn’t get enough, so everything was a bit crazy two months ago.”

He noted as of July, things have gotten back to normal, but the company is still seeing strong sales in the category.

“There is a trend toward people looking for organic items more so, and a lot of that is because a lot of organic items are packaged to differentiate themselves from conventional and I think people feel safer buying packaged items,” Klein said. “It’s all about what the consumer is willing to do, but they also feel organic is healthier, so that’s another reason for that.”

Looking ahead the rest of 2020, the company’s major goal is to satisfy its existing customers.

“We want to make sure our customers are serviced properly and that is our paramount goal,” Klein said. “We got hundreds of phone calls from people we have never dealt with in the past and that wasn’t something we could entertain because we wanted to ensure we were doing what’s best for our customers who had been with us for a long time.”

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