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Nardelli Bros. is poised for success during difficult times

nardelli2Florida’s spring season is always a busy time of year for Nardelli Bros. Inc.-Lakeview Farms, but 2020 has obviously presented itself with a unique challenge.

“We have started off very well. Of course, the main thing we’re concerned about now is the Coronavirus, which has significantly changed the course of business,” said Bill Nardelli Sr., president of the Cedarville, NJ-based company.

He noted that while wholesalers and distributers in the food service, restaurant, and hospitality sectors have suffered, retail businesses have been doing well, though he describes that trend as a “wave” that presents its own challenges in these unprecedented times.

“They come in and overrun us, looking for certain products, and then it seems that people have the mentality of going shopping and storing, and in some cases, they have been hoarding product,” Nardelli said. “That’s OK for paper towels and toilet paper and dish soap, but that’s not effective for fruits and vegetables.”

As a fifth-generation family business that has been around for more than 120 years, Nardelli Bros. has the experience and know-how to deal with any crisis, even the Coronavirus pandemic, through its excellent partnerships with firms such as Hugh Branch in South Bay, Florida, with which it co-partners and co-packs on corn.

Another important factor is Nardelli Bros.’ capability to wrap loose products in a way that prevents consumers from touching them on shelves.

“With this virus being so prevalent, we have the ability to overwrap and package cucumbers and peppers and some of the other things to alleviate the concerns of anyone handling them at store level,” Nardelli said.

With so many people cooking at home this spring, Nardelli said crops are looking good as we head into barbecue season.

“Through our operations and our partners, we’re going to have a tremendous amount of beautiful spring sweet corn,” he said. “We’re going to have adequate supplies through the spring and hopefully, when we see some spring temperatures in some of the areas and we get back to whatever normality is and people are thinking about barbecues and summertime activities, we’re going to have plenty of sweet corn coming for the Forth.”

He added that lettuces, cabbages, greens, collards, kale, parsley, peppers and cucumbers are also looking healthy.

“As we transition from South Florida up in the Central and into Northern Florida, the crop looks good, some of the stuff looks beautiful,” Nardelli said. “We’ve had ups and downs on weather and they’ll be small gaps here and there, but overall we see a very good supply of quality product that’s coming, that looks like it’s going to transition all through South Florida, and Central and Northern Florida flawlessly and without any interruption.”

While Bill Sr. remains active in the company, his sons Bill Jr. and Jimmy have taken on leadership roles. And with their superb stewardship, as well as the efforts of new employees who recently joined the staff, the future of Nardelli Bros. looks bright.

“They’ve been very instrumental after graduating the University of Delaware several years back,” Nardelli said of his sons. “They both very active in the business and they’re both good produce people and good farmers and distributors. They like what they do and they’ve been very blessed to have each other and work together and to have me still be with them to talk and help them steer things.”

And all of that should keep Nardelli Bros. headed in the right direction.

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