Sunrise Fresh Produce LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merchants Foodservice, announced the completion of its acquisition of certain assets from Emerald Coast Finest Produce located in Pensacola, FL. The closing, completed Jan. 18, enables Sunrise Fresh Produce to operate its third produce distribution center as Sunrise Produce Gulf Coast.
With the acquisition, Sunrise Produce Gulf Coast will have a 40,000-square-foot facility. The warehouse is climate controlled and has seven separate temperature zones to ensure the freshness of product for its customers.
Michael O'Brien, vice president of operations at Sunrise Fresh Produce, will oversee the transition of the acquired produce distribution center, and Michael Murphy, a longtime foodservice industry expert, has been retained as general manager of Sunrise Produce Gulf Coast.
Sunrise Produce Gulf Coast serves approximately 400 customers throughout the Florida Panhandle market with produce, eggs and dairy products.
"We look forward to being a strong business partner providing quality services and products to make our customers' lives easier as well as bringing stability to produce distribution in the Florida Panhandle," Mr. O'Brien said in a press release. "By adding another location, we can handle customers in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and south Georgia. Food safety and partnerships are core factors when we go to market. We also look forward to contributing to the community and economy of the area."
"We are very excited about the growth of Sunrise Fresh Produce LLC," Andy Mercier, president and chief executive officer of Sunrise Fresh Produce, said in the press release. "We believe Sunrise Produce Gulf Coast will realize significant growth through superior services and products. Adding this location to our distribution network improves our purchasing power, which will be beneficial to all our foodservice customers."
Sunrise Fresh Produce, a member of the Pro*Act organization, is headquartered in Hattiesburg, MS, with locations in Jackson, MS, and Jacksonville, FL.