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Mamamia finds N.Y. Produce Show valuable for existing relationships

Mamamia Produce LLC found value in last year’s inaugural New York Produce Show & Conference, during which it strengthened existing client relationships. But the company would like to build new relationships at the show as well.

“Last year’s [New York Produce Show & Conference] was helpful for our established relationships because most our customers are in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Mike Rozman, president of Mamamia Produce in East Rutherford, NJ. “But we didn’t find it helpful for building new relationships. In my opinion, the New York Produce Show needs to do something special to attract customers from the Maryland and Massachusetts regions that will give them a reason to come to the New York show.”

Mamamia Produce will again exhibit at the show, this year on Nov. 7-9 in New York City. The company will occupy Booths 1123 and 1125.

Mr. Rozman said that he would prefer the show be held over a weekend. “That would mean that no one would have to miss a workday, and it could result in more people attending the show,” he said. “They could also hold workshops for distributors and farmers, giving them a better chance to meet with each other and start working relationships.”

The company produces greenhouse vegetables grown using the latest hydroponic technology, as well as some seasonal field products. Its line includes mini seedless cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, avocados and specialty peppers.

Mr. Rozman said that Mamamia is now offering sweet peppers, mini sweet peppers and hot peppers in different colors in 16-ounce retail clamshell packages packed eight to a carton.

“Avocado season from the Dominican Republic runs from November through February,” said Mr. Rozman. “The avocados that we offer are grown in an area of the Dominican Republic that has excellent elevation. The fruit is highly flavorful, and increasingly more customers — especially from the foodservice industry — prefer them today.”

He noted that Mamamia’s avocados are smaller in size than what is typically offered, but he said that consumers prefer them because they usually consume only half of an avocado, storing the other half in their refrigerators where it turns brown and becomes unappetizing. The company is packing avocados for retail in four-count clamshells.

“We have the best-tasting mini cucumbers on the market today,” Mr. Rozman said. “And we are working on a new tomato item that has the high sugar content that our tomatoes are known for. It’s not about the quantity, but about the freshest, best-tasting produce.”

Mamamia, he said, is currently working on its HACCP certification for its warehouse.

Mr. Rozman has been in the produce industry for over 20 years. He also owns Rossman Farms in Brooklyn, NY, and is one of three partners at Mamamia, each of who oversees a different department. Jacob Yfrach, an agronomist for more than 30 years, is in charge of greenhouse production. He travels between the Dominican Republic and Mexico overseeing the company’s greenhouse operations. Mr. Yfrach was one of the original pilots of the Israeli greenhouse industry. The other partner is Shimon Efergan, chief financial officer and sales manager. He also oversees U.S. operations and logistics.

“Mamamia’s main concept is to offer the same wonderful taste, outstanding quality and consistent quantities year-round,” said Mr. Rozman.