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Making sure customers get the right quality is main focus of Calixtro

Frank Calixtro on the dock with a pallet of produce and a company truck in the background.

NOGALES, AZ — Calixtro Distributing Co. Inc., here, continues doing the same thing as in past years, which is essentially brokering all of the fresh produce items available in Nogales, according to Frank Calixtro, one of five brothers and eight produce brokers in the company.

The other Calixtro brothers are Joe (Chama), Richard, Charlie and Robert. Also doing buying and selling are Fernando Huerta, Carlos Real, and the newest member of the team, John Tuccini.

One member of the family, Mickey Bachelier, a cousin who was on the team last year, is no longer there. Mr. Bachelier “will be going to Omega [Produce],” replacing Paul Bachelier, who recently left that company to start his own produce distributorship in Nogales. “Cousin is going to replace cousin,” Mr. Calixtro said.

Calixtro Distributing is “expecting to have a lot of good-quality merchandise” for the 2011-12 season, Mr. Calixtro told The Produce News Nov. 8. It appeared so far that there would be “plenty of good product” on the market, both from Mexico and the United States, but markets will all depend on weather.

At Calixtro, “the biggest thing for our customers is we look at the [products] that we are going to send them and make sure it is the right quality if at all possible,” he said. Providing one-stop shopping also is a big benefit for customers. “We get the orders,” he said, then “we go shopping everywhere and bring it to our facility.” Customers’ trucks then can pull up to the dock and load everything in one stop.

“We have to make, sometimes, four or five or six or seven pickups for them,” and it can be a challenge, because “not everything crosses on time,” he said. But for customers, “it is a big advantage when your trucks don’t have to run around town by themselves and load by themselves.” Calixtro has good quality-control staff picking out the right products for customers, Mr. Calixtro said. “That is a big advantage.”

Customers, most of the time, are looking for quality products, he said. “We try to get them the best quality for the best price,” but price has a lot to do with quality, and “if you want the best, you’ve got to pay.” There often is a lot of inferior product that sells for less than the best product available. “We don’t make the markets, demand does,” he said. Even so, “we always try to get the best prices for our customers, and the best quality.”

Everything today basically comes down to quality, he said. “People are going after quality. That is the main thing.”