Ippolito Produce doubles its presence at the Ontario Food Terminal
by Joel Gebet | February 02, 2009
TORONTO -- Ippolito Produce Ltd. has recently increased its presence on the Ontario Food Terminal, here, to four stalls from two.
The firm, a division of the Burlington, ON-based Ippolito Group, expanded into its new space at the south wing of the terminal on Dec. 14 after several months of negotiations followed by a complete overhaul of the new facility, which included lighting, new front windows and doors, and new dock plates.
"It's an exciting time for us," said Joe DaSilva, the firm's vice president of terminal operations. "When we were in the old stalls, we had difficulty displaying our full product line and often had only partial displays on the floor. The new facility has allowed us to put every item we sell on the floor and will allow us room to further grow our product line."
"It's a big improvement for our business as part of our strategic plan to further expand our operations and product line," said Joel Ippolito, the firm's chairman. "Customers can see what we carry, and they can look at it before they take it away. It creates a better environment for everybody that will continue to help grow our business. This was the whole idea behind the move."
The new space has enabled Ippolito Produce to offer new products, such as artichokes, Romaine, green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce.
Ippolito also will be moving into new offerings, such as English cucumbers, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, cooking onions and Fuji apples from key suppliers, according to Mr. DaSilva, a 32-year veteran of the Ontario Food Terminal, who has spent the last 11 years with Ippolito.
"The increased facility size has allowed us to further display all our items that we grow in California, Yuma and Mexico through our Ippolito International division," Mr. DaSilva said. "The Burlington [ON] production facility couldn't be happier, as it has allowed further expansion of conventional and organic clamshell items, such as baby spinach, spring mix, and a mix of new items in both five-ounce and one-pound formats."
The firm also has a separate refrigerated area specifically for its full line of juices and tofu offerings on the sales floor, enabling its clients, which include a mix of major retailers, independents and foodservice providers in the greater Toronto area, to walk in and see what is available instead of having to trek to another floor like they did in its previous location.
"Because of the amount of specialty products we sell, we get the whole spectrum of the market," Mr. Ippolito said, adding that "the firm's old stalls on the north wing were recently purchased by Koornneef Produce Ltd.," which currently operates at the outdoor farmers market.
"There has been a lot of thought put into product placement in terms of floor logistics, allowing our customers easier access and flow to our full product line," Mr. DaSilva said. "Our team at Ippolito couldn't be happier with the expansion."