Tommy Kovacevich, general manager of T.M. Kovacevich Philadelphia Inc., told The Produce News that the company is one of the larger tenants at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, occupying units A-1 through A-6.
“We are a full-line distributor, and we carry virtually every fruit and vegetable available,” said Mr. Kovacevich. “For many years, our forte was premium fruits, but this building has given us an opportunity to expand considerably. We also support and participate in locally grown programs, andwe handle organics. We source from around the world.”
Mr. Kovacevich said that the number-one advantage of working in the new cutting-edge facility is that it is so much better for product. The complete and unbroken cold chain is a huge advantage in keeping produce fresher and extending shelf life.
“We also have more space, which also helped in enabling us to expand our product line,” he added. “It is such an inviting place for people to visit. There are non-stop tours going on here with people from around the world. Everyone is highly impressed when they see this operation.”
The new PWPM facility has also helped to open doors for new customers at T.M. Kovacevich. Customers are excited about being serviced at one highly technical facility.
“It’s hard to beat us as a competitor,” said Mr. Kovacevich. “We’re open 24 hours a day with a sales team on site at all times.”
He noted that the new terminal was opened “just in the nick of time,” because the old terminal was scheduled to be shut down the day after the new one opened.
Mr. Kovacevich serves on the PWPM marketing committee, which has switched gears since opening from promoting the terminal to business development.
The company ships product from Connecticut to Virginia every day. Its business is strongest in retail, which represents about 75 percent of its customers, and the remainder is with foodservice operations.
Mr. Kovacevich mentioned that the PWPM is considered a food hub under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, meaning that it is open to consumers who wish to shop there for fresh produce.
“The building is very consumer friendly, certainly much more so than the old market,” he said. “Our central concourse has a shopping center-like atmosphere. Consumers must go through security and they’re charged a small amount for parking. It’s such a welcoming atmosphere that people really enjoy coming here.”