Macadu Fresh achieves early success
Produce veteran Mike Madden started Macadu Fresh in March of 2021, a company focused on growing, importing and distributing quality fresh fruits from its headquarters in Vineland, NJ, as well as a space in Miami.
“We have an office and warehouse in both, but the warehouse in Miami through our partner is mainly into flowers, though we have access to 100,000 square feet there,” he said. “We are in the process of hiring a salesman to work out of the Miami office.”
He enjoys being in New Jersey because it’s where he grew up and it’s close to Hunts Point, the Philadelphia Market and lots of other critical hubs that aids in the company’s growth.
Combined, the company has more than 190,000 square feet of facilities in the United States, Ecuador and Chile. It ships products utilizing temperature controlling equipment and specialized packing for sensitive foods. Those products are grown, sourced, and imported from Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Spain.
“We’re about a year and a half in, and business has been really good,” Madden said. “We strictly do fruit — the citruses, the lemons, the navals, clementines, blueberries, mangoes and avocados — that’s our main base.”
Macadu Fresh has built up a nice retail business, as well as wholesale business, and even has a good selection of independent stores that it deals with regularly.
Madden is no stranger to the business, having spent more than a decade as a senior buyer for Dandrea Produce and another 10 years before that at John Molinelli Inc. He’s used his contacts and relationships he made along the way to help his new company succeed.
“Since I’ve been on my own, the response has been good. They’ve been taking care of me and getting me business, and I feel blessed to be only a year and a half out and being where we are now.”
Considering he’s been in the industry since he was 15, doing everything from working in the warehouse to buying and selling, Madden feels that experience is a key to Macadu Fresh’s early success.
“I was blessed when I was with Dandrea to travel to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Morocco — all over to look at the farms, so I really think that, combined with keeping good relationships with growers, has helped,” he said.
Looking ahead, Madden plans on utilizing 27 acres of farmland that he owns to build a new facility as a home base, so everything from packaging, repackaging and more can be done under one roof.
“That’s really our goal,” Madden said. “We’re also looking to double in sales. We have the supply lined up and we’re just looking to try and set up programs for next year and the upcoming seasons.”
His strategy is to take his time to make sure that everything Macadu Fresh does is done 100 percent correctly.
“We want to make sure we are growing a brand and when people hear Macadu Fresh, they know we’re going to have good quality and they’re going to be able to cover all their orders,” Madden said. “We’re really excited about some of the new growers we are partnered up with and I think it’s really going to help us be competitive.”