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New facility enhances operational efficiencies at Maglio

Earlier this year, Maglio & Co., headquartered in Glendale, WI, expanded its operations after opening the doors to a new facility in Oakdale, MN. “It opened for cross-docking in January 2012 and production in May,” Owner and President Sam Maglio told The Produce News on Nov. 8.

Maglio & Co. is a produce processor, repacker, distributor and logistics provider and has been offering the freshest and best produce with old-fashioned, conscientious quality and service since 1902. The Oakdale building is 25,000 square feet, complementing Maglio’s 123,000-square-foot facility located just north of Milwaukie, WI.

Maglio sells a full manifest of fruits and vegetables, sourcing them based on appropriate growing regions throughout the year. “Tomatoes are the largest volume item,” Mr. Maglio stated. “But other items are sourced and packed at this location to meet customer needs. We also provide refrigerated split repack services.”

The construction also provided needed space to add several new product lines while continuing to provide Maglio customers with a full line of value-added fresh products. Maglio’s cut fruit items provide customers with a valuable 13-day shelf life.

“Our latest product innovation is BeerLime,” Mr. Maglio stated. “When cut, this lime is perfectly sized to sit atop an open beer bottle and is packaged in an eye-catching display for quick and easy set up in liquor departments and on the checkout counter. The BeerLime packaging has also been proven to extend shelf life for up to four weeks.”

According to Mr. Maglio, the company focuses on determining what product additions or enhancements could improve its customers’ businesses. “We approach our business a little differently in that produce knowledge and supply chain insights guide our sales strategies and ultimately deliver our customers a customized set of services,” he commented.

Also located in the new distribution facility is Country Hearth Bread, a family-owned bakery that shares Maglio’s commitment to providing safe, healthy food. “That partnership is unrivaled,” Mr. Maglio said this past April.

According to Mr. Maglio, the expansion translated to operational efficiencies very quickly. The new facility houses a new ripening room, holding cooler and refrigerated packaging area, along with a climate controlled tomato repack area. Mr. Maglio was asked if tomato volume increased in 2012 as a result of having the new facility in operation. “Absolutely. The company’s volume is up 20 percent over last year,” he replied.

Maglio & Co. currently services retail, wholesale and foodservice customers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, and is doing so with greater efficiency. To illustrate, Mr. Maglio said, “When tomatoes are coming out of California, we are able to reduce food miles for loads stopping in Minneapolis rather than receiving them in Milwaukee and sending a truck back to Minneapolis.”

Although the company has a few local customers who pick up their orders in Minneapolis, Mr. Maglio said, “We handle the logistics with our own fleet.” Fleshing out the impact to logistics efficiencies, Mr. Magio went on to say, “Not only will our new facility allow us to reduce food miles to customers in the Upper Midwest, but it also provides the benefit of more frequent deliveries throughout the week.”

Although the company has no immediate plans for expansion of its current service area, Mr. Maglio commented, “We are currently investigating underserved markets for our next location.”

The Glendale facility was designed with the Global Food Safety Initiative in mind and reflects the company’s commitment to the highest-quality and food-safety standards, including compliance with Tomato Metrics, HACCP and U.S. Department of Agriculture standards.

On the food-safety front, Mr. Maglio said the company currently holds an “A” rating with the British Retail Consortium, which maintains a stringent food-safety certification program. 

“Our next annual audit will take place in February 2013,” he noted. “Our Triple Treatment Tomato Tunnel is an evolutionary new system. It increases shelf life, decreases spoilage, is a fast and easy application, and eliminates bacteria, pathogens and other spoilage organisms on the surface of fresh produce.”