Morris Okun expands at Hunts Point
by Joel Gebet | December 09, 2010
Morris Okun Inc., a fixture on Row B of the Hunts Point Terminal Market in
the Bronx, NY, recently purchased four-and-a-half units on Row D, and the
firm's director, Roni Okun, could not be prouder of the purchase and of her
"We’re very excited about this, because it is the first time we’ve ventured off
of Row B," Ms. Okun told The Produce News Dec. 8. “We want exposure on
both sides of the market to enhance our customer base and expose the
customer base of Rows C and D to the Okun operation.”
The firm, one of New York City’s older produce wholesalers, currently has 16
units on Row B of the terminal, where it has been located since Hunts Point
opened in 1967.
Ms. Okun said that the firm received approval Dec. 7 for the purchase from
the board of the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association, and
expected to be operating from the new units Dec. 12.
“It’s a new venture and it’s a new area, but it’s a positive to expand,” Tom
Cignarella, the firm’s president, told The Produce News Dec. 8. “When the
company grows, it’s always a good thing. I think it’s great for Morris Okun,
and we’re grateful for the opportunity that [Roni’s] given us. I’m looking
forward to the whole adventure.”
Ms. Okun said that the firm has been “the dean of tomato knowledge for the
past century,” and she said that it will continue to offer tomatoes, along with
a full line of fruits and vegetables, at the new units.
The new operation will be run by Louis Venuti, who brings 25 years of
wholesaling experience at Hunts Point, along with a “vast knowledge of the
potato and onion industry,” she said.
Morris Okun Inc. is one of the older tomato repackers in the industry, Ms.
Okun said, noting that the firm will utilize that experience to pack tomatoes,
potatoes and onions, utilizing the “Okun” banner, in the new space.
“That’s what makes it so exciting, because 40 years later we’re now
expanding to the other side of the market,” she said. “It’s a whole new world
and a new venture for us, and there is a great deal of enthusiasm. We look
forward to doing wonderful things over there.”