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New generations continue to lead Procacci Bros. into the future

By
Keith Loria

Procacci Bros., operating four units at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, stands out as a prominent wholesaler in the Northeast. As a comprehensive distributor, Procacci Bros. supplies a full range of produce, including niche items such as salads, dressings, floral products, organic goods and specialty items.

Additionally, the family-run company, which just celebrated its 75th year in business, manages a warehouse in South Philadelphia and oversees farming operations in South Jersey.

“We live and breathe this business every day,” said Rick Feighery, vice president of Procacci Bros. “It’s hard to step back and look at the bigger picture. One of the changes for us is the start of the next generation (the fourth) coming in and being a big part of the team.”

That includes Joe Procacci, now CEO of the company, who has been with his family’s namesake company for more than a decade, who started on the growing side of the business before transitioning into his leadership role.

In Philadelphia, the company is finalizing a new 120,000-square-foot warehouse for what it’s calling phase one, to be followed by more space in the future.

“It will be nice to be in that and centralize all of the production we currently have,” Feighery said, “It’s a nice move for us; it’s been a while since we’ve been in something bright and shiny, and we’re excited to be getting in there.”

Business has been ok in 2024, but it’s something that the Procacci team fights for every day.

“It’s always a challenge; we have the weather to deal with, we have competition to deal with, but we embrace it,” Feighery said. “We’re very fortunate that it grows every year and we find ways to make it exciting.”

For instance, as of early May, Procacci Bros. is getting ready to get into the California melon and stone fruit season, while other items are weeks away from harvest.

“Everything looks good,” Feighery said. “There will be good availability and the seasons are stacking up on the West Coast. On the East Coast, peaches will be starting soon, and then plums and grapes. The seasons are upon us.”

Working in the produce industry in Philadelphia is easy because residents have such an appreciation for food and there’s plenty of restaurants to go around.

“Philly is a foodie town and that generates the buzz for everything,” Feighery said. “When you’re discussing the best restaurants, everyone has a different opinion because there’s so many. Even in the suburbs, there’s a lot of creativity and cool places to eat.”

Procacci Bros. is a big believer in working with and supporting local growers, and that’s something that more customers are interested in these days. Plus, Feighery noted it’s great from a transportation standpoint and the shelf stability of a product.

“This is a service business; you have to listen to your customers and you have to deliver every day,” Feighery said. “We have a history in the industry, but it really comes down to being attentive to the needs of your customers and servicing them with what they want.”

Looking ahead, the company continues to evaluate transportation solutions and looking for stores that need retail support and product support.

“Our growth comes from selling more packages tomorrow than we did today,” Feighery said. “We’re always out there looking to grow existing business and look for new business.”

Photo: Procacci executive team from its 75th anniversary party: George Binck, Rick Feighery,  Joseph Procacci III, Gabby Procacci, J.M. Procacci, Pete Gaidis and Mike Maxwell.

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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