Combs Produce Co. LP, based in Dallas, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and its representatives are looking forward to sharing the fruits (and vegetables) of 50 years of success from booth 36 at this year’s Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Convention & Exhibition July 29-31 in Monterrey, CA.
Sr. Vice President Brett Combs told The Produce News, “We love the show. It gives us time to spend face to face with our customer group. It’s a great time to interact in a more relaxed setting than the day-to-day hustle of the produce business.”
Combs carries a full line of fruits and vegetables — from standards to exotics to locally grown offerings covering the produce spectrum — all with the pledge of “delivering freshness daily.”
From baby vegetables to exotic fruits, the Combs procurement team works tirelessly to provide a consistent supply of the freshest specialty produce items from around the world. Alongside standards like tomatoes and row crops, Combs carries hard-to-find exotics like dragon-tongue beans, breadfruit, cactus pears and huckleberries. The company also has a full lineup of herbs and Asian and Hispanic specialty items.
“Our mission is to deliver fresh solutions to the produce supply chain,” Mr. Combs said. “We pretty much sell a full line. We have a first-class distribution network that hits six states with private-label repacking, tomato repacking, avocado [and] banana ripening, the full Hispanic category, and an eager and competent sales and operations team with a mission of delivering fresh solutions.”
For the foodservice industry, “service, timeliness, quality, value, daily delivery are all pieces of our service offerings,” Mr. Combs said. “We take a broad array of items that are hard for the foodservice buyer to buy direct and we deliver them on a daily basis. This could include repacks, ripening of avocados or freight, for example.”
Combs also offers repacking services, breaks-splits, ripening and private labeling — all with a focus squarely on food safety. The company is a PrimusLabs Platinum Supplier and American Institute of Baking certified, and “our single most important business initiative is the safety of our products. For 10 years, we have invested in a comprehensive food-safety program, long before our colleagues saw the need,” Mr. Combs said. “We knew how important it was, not only for the financial security of our own company, but for the financial security of our customers as well as the health and wellness of the consumers, whose food choices flowed through our hands. While it has not been the most cost-efficient way to run our business, we fully believe that our continued investment in food safety eliminates risk down the road.”
Combs Produce only purchases products from reputable suppliers that are compliant with Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices. The company maintains a strict cold chain from warehouse to delivery, and all trucks are refrigerated at optimum temperatures that are constantly monitored.
The warehouse and equipment are cleaned and sanitized daily, random sampling of wash water ensures cleanliness and regular mock recalls make sure all processes are in place and personnel are adequately equipped. And Combs can provide detailed information on individual boxes of product from the point of origin to the delivery point.
Combs recently added a new vice president of sales, Van Arigiros, who will be joining the company in time for the PMA show. And Martin Morenos has come aboard as director of the Hispanic category.