In the 23 years since its founding by Chief Executive Officer and President Robert Colescott, Southern Specialties’ unwavering insistence on quality and unparalleled customer service has led the company to become one of the United States’ leading growers and distributors of premium specialty produce. Its customers include the finest retail, foodservice and wholesale club companies in the U.S. and Canada. The company focuses strongly on its offshore programs, consisting of a wide range of high-quality specialty produce offered in numerous pack sizes and value-added convenience packaging.
“We continue to be a leader with expertise in facilitating offshore production logistics through Florida,” said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for the firm. “Although our headquarter facility is located in Pompano Beach, Florida, we also have facilities in McAllen, Texas, and in Los Angeles, giving us a far-reaching arm across the country and in Canada.”
Eagle said that the company’s popular “Southern Selects” brand of french beans will be in good supply for the holiday season. “Our french beans are hand-selected in Guatemala,” he said.
“This is always a good item for holiday meals,” he said. “Sugar snap peas and sno peas will also be in good supply. These specialty items are perfect for adding an upscale touch to dinner tables.”
He added that these items are available in bulk format for open displays as well as a variety of value-added packs to meet every customer’s needs.
“Our ‘Southern Selects’ tomato deal should be rolling along nicely in December with heirlooms, baby heirlooms, red and yellow teardrop, greenhouse Romas and tomatoes on the vine,” said Eagle. “The large heirlooms are available in variety packs. Baby heirlooms are packed in one-pound clamshells, 12 to a case, and teardrop tomatoes are packed in clamshells 12 to a box.”
He noted that the company’s popular “Southern Selects” limes from Guatemala, which are very high in juice content, will continue. However, volumes typically slow down this time of year before picking back up to a strong movement within a couple of months.
“During the December holidays, we will maintain some asparagus fields in the Ica region of Peru while we increase production in northern Peru,” said Eagle. “There is a heavy demand for airlift into both the U.S. and Europe. Many flights carrying asparagus destined for Europe are by way of Miami during December as products in addition to asparagus are shipped for the holidays. We expect volumes during this period to be similar to last year, with moderately strong prices.”
“Southern Selects” will continue with its popular and growing blueberry, blackberry and the new premium Adelita variety raspberry programs.
Its fresh blueberries are shipped at their peak of flavor and available year-round under the “Southern Selects” label. Eagle noted that blueberries are one of the fastest-growing categories in the marketplace today, with consumer knowledge of the nutritional and health benefits helping to drive demand continually higher.
Southern Specialties grows its high-quality blackberries in Mexico and in Guatemala. Because blackberries can tolerate rainy conditions and cool weather, year-round supplies are usually very stable.
“ ‘Southern Selects’ Adelita raspberries are a new variety and are available seasonally,” said Eagle. “The fruit is high in flavor and offers good shelf life. Most outstanding about the Adelita, however, is its awesome large and beautiful appearance.
Southern Specialties is also shipping mangos and papayas. Overall, the company is highly enthusiastic about this season’s offshore programs.
“Our 23 years of expertise in importing and understanding the important role that offshore produce plays in the supply chain in the U.S. today puts Southern Specialties in a prime position,” said Eagle. “We import more and more produce into the country every year. Our expertise is in all aspects of growing, importing and shipping.”