“We’re pretty much in full swing now, with at least a little product coming from about everywhere,” Ken Cavallaro, treasurer of John Cerasuolo Co. Inc., located at the New England Produce Center in Chelsea, MA, told The Produce News. “The Northeast will peter out completely soon, and we’ll start working with Southeast, Mexico and California suppliers.
“We are moving our basic lineup of vegetables currently,” he continued. “As always, we handle a full line of vegetables from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”
Cavallaro and his brother, Skip Cavallaro, company president, purchased the company in 1972 from its original owners, who had been in business for over 80 years. The company has been on the New England Produce Center in Chelsea, MA, since it opened in 1968.
Cavallaro said that there hasn’t been any slacking of business in the New England area during the economic downturn, but he noted that retailers continue to buy closer to the belt, noting that no one is over-buying today.
“Things are pretty much the same as they have been for the past couple of years,” he said. “This has become pretty much a permanent mindset because chain buyers have been in that mode for a long time. It’s better for the market because they use us for fill-ins, so when they run out of produce sooner they are knocking on our doors.”
John Cerasuolo is unique in the industry in that it handles a full line of staple vegetables that people need regardless of whether they are eating at home or at a restaurant. The company does not handle fruit.
The company’s customers are retail chains and independent retailers and foodservice operators. It ships throughout New England.
Cavallaro noted that the foodservice sector in the areas that the company services are also doing well. The company exercises extreme caution in making sure that all the operations it sources its fresh produce from are highly reputable companies.
“We source from all areas and follow the seasons in order to always have our full line of the freshest most high-quality items,” he said. “During the fall we have more local fall items, of course, but that applies to all seasons of the year.
“Regardless of the time of year, our staple items are always available,” he continued.
The past year has been a good one for John Cerasuolo Co. Cavallaro said that the company is looking forward to another rewarding year to come.
“Our goal is to always provide excellent customer service and high-quality produce, and those goals will continue into our future.”