OAKDALE, MN — At first adding a warehouse here, in a suburb on the east side of Minneapolis, was a matter of logistical strategy for Maglio & Co., which is based near Milwaukee in Glendale, WI. But the new, food-safe Minnesota operation with 25,000 square feet has proven to be much more useful and productive than was originally anticipated, according to Sam Maglio, who owns the firm.
John Carkoski manages the Twin Cities operation, which is called Maglio Minnesota. Carkoski gave The Produce News a tour of the Oakdale facility Nov. 13, and then The Produce News met in the Wisconsin office with Sam Maglio Nov. 14.
Sam Maglio said that his firm has “a very sharp, very tight focus on our niche.” This involves being a tomato repacker and split-pallet repacker. Both tasks have worked well in Maglio Minnesota, which opened in 2012.
Of his niche, Maglio noted, “We know we are in the middle, and we bring value to both ends. There is a real need for repacking and our customers receive better product than if they bought direct from the grower.”
Highly efficient logistics combined with the important repacking service have led to the firm’s success. Maglio Minnesota has extended the company’s reach north in Minnesota, as far as the western reaches of the Dakotas, and to Iowa and beyond to the Southwest. New rules reducing the hours over-the-road truckers can drive each day was one of the issues adding to the usefulness of Maglio Minnesota. It is 330 miles between the two Midwest Maglio facilities. Interstates 94 and 90 make an easy connection between the two locations.
At first the Minnesota distribution point was needed because Maglio & Co. was sending two trucks a day from Wisconsin to the Twin Cities and the drivers ran out of hours. “They’d pick up and couldn’t come home,” Maglio said. Then it became apparent that customers in the Twin Cities and beyond had a demand for more tomatoes and services provided by Maglio.
Maglio’s customers are produce distributors. The firm’s business does not involve drops to retail stores or individual restaurants.
As it was created, Maglio Minnesota moved under the same roof as a Country Hearth Bread bakery, which was very accommodating in order to have another food-grade company as a neighbor. Maglio Minnesota will soon be adding racking to expand its tomato warehousing. Stacking pallets of mixed produce is the other company service and is working very well for mixed deliveries from the facility.
Maglio said his Midwest locations serve 13 states in the central part of the United States. But he enjoys working relationships throughout the country and cooperates with industry allies to essentially enjoy national distribution.