Five years ago, Daniel Edmeier opened Kingdom Fresh Produce in San Antonio, TX, with a staff of one — himself.
Six years later, Mr. Edmeier is director of sales for a company with nine full-time employees and two offices, one in McAllen, TX, and another in Dallas.
As the company has grown, its core business has changed. The entire product line is greenhouse or shadehouse grown, and 80 percent of that product is produced hydroponically.
“The core business has changed from 2005. When we opened, we offered round tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and colored bell peppers,” Mr. Edmeier said. “In 2008 we discontinued cherry and grape tomatoes — and peppers — and replaced them with Roma tomatoes. Currently, Roma tomatoes account for 55 percent of our production.”
Kingdom Fresh was formed to market all greenhouse products produced by parent company Almerimex in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. In six years, distribution has increased a staggering 500 percent.
“We opened with production of 800,000 packages and have grown to 4.2 million packages,” Mr. Edmeier said. “We now have multiple growers in addition to the company production. One-hundred percent of our product offering is greenhouse or shadehouse grown, and 80 percent of production is hydroponically grown.”
After just one year in business, Kingdom Fresh moved from San Antonio to its current location in McAllen “to be closer to the border and to combine sales with the warehouse facility. We are in our third warehouse now, having outgrown the prior two,” he said.
That third and current facility is located in Donna, TX. Built in 2009, it has 80,000 square feet of cold-storage space and another 20,000 square feet of dry-storage and office space.
Kingdom Fresh will soon be growing again. With more than 400 acres of shadehouses and greenhouses in Torreon, the company is currently preparing to build another facility in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, that will double its capacity.
“Kingdom Fresh has continued to transition more from a production-driven company to a customer-driven company. We currently work with select customers to grow specialty items they require as well as continue to grow new items to add diversification to our product offering,” Mr. Edmeir said.