PHILADELPHIA — “I love it. It is better than I ever thought. I never imagined it would be so nice and easy to work,” Rick Milavsky, vice president of Frank Leone, which does business as B.R.S. Produce Co. said of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market.
What does he like best about the new market?
“Everything!” Mr. Milavsky exclaimed, adding that it is a huge advantage not to break the cold chain. “The product holds up so much better.”
He noted that the first week the market operated, when temperatures approached 100 degrees, samples in the display area continued to look good. Conversely, at the old market, “stuff would have melted.”
Furthermore, with modern warehousing and traffic patterns “it’s so much easier to get in and out of the ice box, and to load trucks.
“It is easier for the guys to work. They are not on top of each other and we can service customers faster.”
Speed doors into coolers are working very effectively and the market is a lot more customer friendly with a guardrail to protect pedestrians from forklift traffic. Traffic patterns include stops at intersections for forklifts, “which is a lot easier and safer,” he noted.
“I am just happy to be here. The place is great.”
Mr. Milavsky plans to maintain the status quo for now. “We have a lot more room, so there is the opportunity for more product.”
But he said, his firm already handles a wide range of products, with tomatoes, mushrooms, tropicals, greens and vegetables like corn, peppers and cucumbers. The B.R.S. coolers are designed with a three-pallet-wide section designed especially to hold mushrooms at 34 degrees.
Mr. Milavsky noted, “At the old market, we got every drop of life and blood we could out of the place. It’s a shame we did not move several years ago. Everybody is more than happy with this place.”