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Consistency key to BRS Produce’s success

By
Keith Loria

BRS Produce Co. plays a vital role in the Mid-Atlantic’s food supply, dealing in produce from Florida and Mexico, including tomatoes, greens, peppers, cucumbers, squash and avocados.

The company operates in units D-2 and D-3 on the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market and has a long and trusted history there.

“We were established in 1981 and we’re just going strong,” said Rick Milavsky, president of BRS Produce Co. “I have a good staff under me. We pride ourselves on customer service and bringing in what people are asking for and treating our customers fairly.”

So far in 2024, things have been looking ok as far as business goes.

“Things started out good, and it was a decent winter, though March was a little slower than January and February, but April was a little better,” Milavsky said. “The weather is getting nicer, and we expect things to pick up into the summer and early fall.”

There’s not much change at BRS Produce Co., as the majority of employees return year after year, and the company sells the same line of produce.

“People tell me how much they like working with my guys and how happy they are, so there’s not too many complaints,” Milavsky said. “Overall, they do a really good job and they are all about servicing the customers the best they can, so everyone is taken care of.”

The customer base for BRS Produce Co. includes some of the bigger warehouses outside of the market, but this time of year, it’s a lot of pop-up and farmer markets that work seasonally into the fall.

“We’re right near the Jersey Shore so as it gets to late spring and early summer, we see a lot of business there,” Milavsky said. “These are customers who have a slew of customers under them, delivering to diners and restaurants and small grocery stores.”

Maintaining strong relationships, he added, comes down to keeping the customers informed on what’s coming in, with approximate prices and any changes that could impact business.

Working in Philadelphia has been a big part of the company’s success, he added.

“It’s a nice-size city, people are very food-oriented, especially the younger people who are looking for quality and nutritious food,” Milavsky said. “People are more health-conscious nowadays and one good way is by eating more fruits and vegetables.”

As far as popular items, some things are starting to trend more in 2024. “These days, I see people looking for more pre-packaged stuff as far as salad greens go, and spring mixes, the things that are easy to prepare,” Milavsky said.

BRS Produce Co. has a team of people who get along well together and work hard, and Milavsky is thrilled to have such a trusted team at his disposal, and that helps with the company’s growth.

“I look for the guys under me to expand what they do; some handle their own items, and if they think it will work, I encourage them to bring it in and try it, because you never know until you try,” Milavsky said. “They are the younger generation and I want them to expand what they’re doing. They are dealing with the people so I want them to be happy with the relationships they are making.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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