view current print edition




Ecoripe Tropicals expanding offshore sources to ensure supplies for increasing demand for ethnic produce

Ecoripe Tropicals in Medley, FL, carries a widely diverse line of tropical fruits and vegetables. The line was originally developed specifically for the wide range of Chinese, Indian, Hispanic and Southeast Asian cuisines, but these foods have become highly desired by mainstream foodies who want to experience new, interesting and flavorful dishes.

Marc Holbik, director of grower relations for the company, said that this year its tropical vegetable program is being sourced from three different growing areas.

“We are sourcing from Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic,” said Holbik. “This will ensure a steady supply to fulfill the growing demand for our products. While ours is a year-round program, volumes double during the high season. These foods and the dishes they are used in have become increasingly popular in North America.”

veggiesAsian, Indian and Hispanic vegetables from Ecoripe Tropicals give U.S. consumers an opportunity to experience new and exciting flavors.Ecoripe Tropicals’ extensive line of fruits range from the more commonly known mangos and papayas to the more unique June plum and passion fruit — and just about everything in between. In recent years, the company has become very well-known for its high-quality Rambutan program. Its vegetable line includes Chinese, Indian and Thai eggplant, long beans, tun and numerous pepper and squash varieties. It also offers a full line of Asian and Hispanic root items, such as eddoes, yucca, malanga, boniato and ginger.

“We also have American okra and sno pea programs from Guatemala,” added Holbik. “Both have gotten off to a slow start, but going forward we expect to see good quality and steady volumes.”

The company’s journey started on the Pacific coast of Guatemala where it began cultivating papayas in the late 1990s. In 2004, with over a decade of production experience under its belt, the import office soon to be known as Ecoripe Tropicals opened in south Florida. In 2010, it inaugurated its new facility in Medley, FL, where it now has a food safety-certified cold-storage facility and its main sales and administrative offices.

“We envision ourselves as a leader in the produce industry, consistently serving as a catalyst of success for our customers, vendors and employees,” said Holbik. “We are achieving this vision by continuing to provide excellent customer service, sourcing and delivering the best quality fresh produce and by basing all our actions and decisions on the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.”

Holbik also announced that Carolina Ramirez recently joined the Ecoripe Tropicals’ sales team.

“Carolina will be working closely with our south Florida retail customers,” said Holbik. “We are very happy to have her on our team.”