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Manfredi Cold Storage continues to grow

By
Keith Loria

Manfredi Cold Storage, which provides cold storage, repacking, refrigerated freight and more to the produce industry, is expanding throughout its home in Kennett Square, PA and in its newest facility in Pedricktown, NJ.

“Last year was a very challenging year, with COVID-19 and trying to get people to work with the testing and everything else, but our customers were very appreciative that we were working hard to get their trucks loaded and unloaded,” said Frank Manfredi, president of the company. “Therefore, it was very busy — especially in the fall when things started to really pick up.”

The New Jersey facility is doing extremely well. It opened in July with room for 4,000 pallet positions, a 30,000-square-foot packing room and 16 dock doors. Shovels were in the ground in September for an additional 45,000 square feet, adding 2,000 pallet positions, 15,000 square feet of packing space and another seven dock doors. Completion of the addition is slated for second quarter of this year.

The site, located near the Commodore Barry Bridge, is ideal for trucking he noted, as it leads into Interstate 95, Philadelphia and the Delaware Memorial Bridge, while the New Jersey Turnpike gives a straight shot into New York and New England.

Total buildout for the 52-acre site is 600,000 square feet. It will have capacity for 30,000 pallets of low density storage, 100,000 square feet of packing and 136 dock doors in a very efficient design. The company will be adding future additions about every 18 months.

Manfredi Cold Storage had been considering going to New Jersey since 2008, and even had a site in mind, not far from the current site, but that was put on hold in 2010.

“Around that time, a piece of property adjacent to its existing facility in Kennett Square became available, so we purchased this, as it was much easier to build an addition than it would have been to start from scratch in New Jersey,” Manfredi said. “Over the next 5-6 years, we decided we would just stay in Kennett.”

That thought process changed when they heard from New Jersey customers that they couldn’t find room in New Jersey for their items or weren’t satisfied with the service they were getting. We made some handshake agreements and sold the 17 acres and traded up for 52 acres right down the street — and the plans for a new expansion were set in motion.

“It was a good move, because the 174,000 square feet we were going to build originally on the 17 acres would have never been big enough,” Manfredi said. “With the 104,000 square feet we have, plus the additional 45,000 we will have in three months, is just the start of what we’ll be doing on the Jersey side as we continue to grow.”

The company also has another 22,000 square feet of dry storage space coming to Kennett Square, as it continues to evolve.

“We had to do something. We work with all of these great people, and everyone wants to move up a ladder and have more responsibility. It was either lose some very talented people or continue to expand the place and create opportunities,” Manfredi said. “It’s very important to have a team that’s a good cultural fit who work well together. When you have a dedicated team that wants to work and partner with customers who want to do the same, things just work.”

Both facilities operate in the same way — running the same systems, offering the same design, and employing the same great people who have made the company such a success. The biggest difference is the location of the pack room; it’s more centralized in New Jersey.

“The Delaware River is the river to discharge fresh produce, there’s no doubt about that, and now we’re on both sides of the river,” Manfredi said. “It’s great to be a part of it. The entire team here at Manfredi is talented and truly cares, I am very fortunate to work with such amazing people.”

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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