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Southern Specialties, a distributor of specialty produce items located in Pompano Beach, FL, is expanding its headquarters facility in support of the growth of its value-added line.

Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for the company, told The Produce News June 11 that the firm has signed an agreement to acquire additional warehouse space at its headquarters and distribution facility.

"The expansion, which shares a common wall with the existing warehouse, will create 36 percent more capacity for the warehouse and provide space for additional processing, hydro-cooling and forced air cooling," he said, adding that an engineering firm is designing the layout of the new space.

Robert Colescott, president and chief executive officer of Southern Specialties, added, "Our investment in this expansion is part of our continuing commitment to the growth of the 'Southern Selects' value-added brand. Our upscale products cater to consumers' desire for gourmet quality, value-added produce that offer flavor, nutrition and convenience."

Mr. Colescott is credited for being a pioneer in specialty fruits and vegetables from Central America. He founded Southern Specialties in 1990, and it has developed into a leading grower, importer, processor and shipper of specialty fruits and vegetables from throughout the Americas.

"This acquisition supports our mission of providing the highest level of customer service," added Tim Meissner, chief operating officer of the company. "Southern Specialties will continue to make investments that provide value to our customers and partners through customized supply chain solutions. Our expansion and investments in state-of-the-art equipment and quality assurance will help Southern Specialties continue as a leader in its class."

In addition to its Pompano Beach facility, the company markets its "Southern Selects," "Paradise Tropicals," "Fiesta Fresh" and "Today's Gourmet" line of products from its distribution facilities in McAllen, TX, and Los Angeles.