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Continental Fresh steps up to the plate at NY Produce Show

If Albert Perez, president and chief executive officer of Coconut Grove, FL-based Continental Fresh Produce, could have had one wish in his younger days, it would have been to pitch for the New York Yankees.

“Even though that train has left the station, I am more than thrilled to be going to New York to pitch my produce items at the New York Produce Show,” Perez said.

Although Continental Fresh has been an exhibitor for many years at the SEPC Southern Exposure Show, 2016 will mark the first time that the company exhibits at the New York Produce Show.IMG 5136.7Celebrity Chef Alex Callegari, also known as the Firefighter Foodie, will be at the Continental Fresh booth during the New York Produce Show.

“We have been waiting for the right moment to join this amazing show, as a major part of our customer base is in the Northeast,” Perez said. “Another great benefit of the show is that it occurs on the very week that Continental Fresh will be kicking off our offshore winter vegetable programs. As the show gets under way, we will have our first arrivals of our Atlas Fresh label cucumbers from our farms in Honduras.”

Continental Fresh is a leading importer of cucumbers from Honduras. Last season the weather did not cooperate due to El Niño, but this year all conditions seem to be favorable and the company expects quality and yields to be back to normal.

Some of the great features of the company’s program include up to four ocean vessel arrivals per week, making product extremely fresh; Primus Labs GFS certifications of field and packinghouse operations; Produce Traceability Initiative case-level tagging (the only cucumber operation in Honduras currently doing this); and 100 percent pole grown cucumbers.

“The cucumbers will be followed shortly by our butternut squash programs for retail and process programs,” Perez said.

Continental Fresh will have ample retail supplies of Atlas Fresh Butternut through the Easter promotions. It will also pack a jumbo size No.1 quality butternut in 60-pound bins for process customers.

“We will be arriving directly into Northeast ports with this product and loading out of our Eastern Propak location in Glassboro, NJ,” Perez said. “This season, Continental Fresh will offer straight neck yellow and zucchini squashes for the first time. It is a great complement to our veg line and will give our LTL customers some more items to pick up at International Cold Storage, our state-of-the-art loading facility in Oakland Park, Florida.”

At the New York Produce Show, Continental Fresh will be bringing its nationally recognized celebrity chef Alex Callegari, also known as the Firefighter Foodie. Callegari is a Boca Raton firefighter and competitive chef who has appeared on “Cooks vs. Cons” from the Food Network, “Fox & Friends” and “The Steve Harvey Show.” He has also excelled in national competitions such as the World Food Championships, Budweiser Bud & Burgers, Chevron Game Day Chef, Steak-Umm Firehouse Challenge and others.

“This is the second year of our partnership with the Firefighter Foodie and it has brought much excitement to the way we look at our products,” Perez said. “Alex describes his goal as uniting families by bringing them all together around the kitchen table. As marketers, we now look at our job as providing the raw materials so the families can create and share works of art in their home.”

Apart from showing off his cooking prowess and sampling some of his tasty creations, Callegari will be walking the aisles looking for the next new flavor.

“Recently I discovered some Citriburst finger limes that blew me away,” Callegari said. “I’m excited to see what I will discover that will wow me this time around.”

Attendees are invited to visit booth No. 270 where Perez and Sales Director Jackie Obana will be available to discuss specifics of their programs as well as sample some of Callegari delights.