Jay Iverson, vice president of sales and marketing for GreenGate Fresh LLLP in Salinas, CA, told The Produce News that the company will be exhibiting at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, July 26-28, and it is looking forward to telling everyone there about its new facility.
“We’ll be at booth number 101,” said Iverson. “This show is right outside our back door, so our entire staff will be there telling visitors about our new cutting-edge facility. It’s a significant event for us because we are strictly a foodservice supplier, with about a five percent exception for club store clients.”
The company’s line is comprised of all types of salads and slaws with Iceberg and Romaine lettuces, all colors of cabbages, spinach, spring mixes, baby kale, baby bok choy and rocket arugula. Its products are sold in two-pound and larger packs only.
Greengate Fresh distributes in all 50 U.S. states and into Canada, with all of the major foodservice distributors and groups representing the majority of its customers. The company sells under the “GreenGate Fresh” and “Metz Fresh” brands.
Iverson said the company took an existing 50,000-square-foot building and essentially rebuilt it to process to the company’s needs.
“It is exceptionally modern and filled with high-technology equipment,” he said. “Our first production was on March 1. We got the entire building redone in five frantic months.”
Details for the facility were thought out and executed with precision. In the processing area the insulated panels are offset from the concrete walls by six inches to eliminate the chance of moisture being trapped that can create what Iverson calls “undesirables.”
“Also, our outside solar load is not transferred into the building,” he said. “We don’t have to battle warm air inside the building because it is trapped in the six-inch space and then vented out through the roof. The system is referred to as the ‘Venturi effect.’ “
The processing rooms are also unique in that they have all stainless steel walls and ceilings, allowing for a much broader choice in sanitizing options such as steam and solutions that are more aggressive than what can be used on standard plastic panels.
“Our sanitation system is also unique,” noted Iverson. “There are 27 stations in the building, so when we’re sanitizing we don’t have to lug equipment back and forth across the facility. The longest hose in the facility is 27 feet long. This breaks up sanitation into areas so that nothing is overlooked or missed.”
Prior to taking occupancy in the new facility, GreenGate Fresh was working out of four separate facilities in Salinas due to space needs.
“It’s really great to now have everything under one roof,” said Iverson. “Our company has experienced tremendous growth in the three years — as of April — since we started in business.”