Front Row Produce doubles capacity and utilizes InsulWall® to create five new cooler rooms.
Front Row Produce is a family-owned wholesaler and distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables in Overland, Missouri. Front Row Produce celebrated its 10th anniversary this year by moving its operations from a 23,000-square-foot facility to a new 57,000-square-foot facility. The business was bursting at its seams requiring additional cooler areas as well as office space. “Our industry is evolving – we’ve seen the number of distributors in the industry contract – the larger, national distributors are purchasing the smaller, regional distributors. This trend required us to increase our capacity and meet the growing needs for repackaging and storage,” said Tony Pupillo, Sr., president and owner. “Our new space will allow us to be more efficient with our current business and meet new business needs.”
A Look Inside
The new 57,000-square-foot facility more than doubles Front Row Produce’s capacity and featured refrigeration and freezers along with 22-foot high ceilings which are conducive to the food business. It’s constant movement at Front Row Produce – both people and inventory. Typically, every five to six days its entire inventory of fresh fruits and vegetables will turn. This type of inventory movement requires strict temperature control and efficiency. Front Row Produce’s new building features five distinct cooler spaces each temperature-controlled between 34˚F – 55˚F to maintain the highest degree of product integrity. Its dock area is also temperaturecontrolled at 60˚F. The challenge was to create cooler areas with a wall solution that offered superior temperaturecontrol along with the flexibility to move and modularity to easily reconfigure cooler space. “We recognized that we had options to traditional rigid walls, such as insulated curtain walls,” said Justin Howell, General Manager.
After reviewing a variety of wall solutions, Front Row Produce selected InsulWall for its proven ability to perform in food environments and its thin profile- 1” and 2”- made it ideal for placing between racking systems. In addition, the ability to move the wall and reconfigure cooler areas easily provided Front Row Produce the ability to be a dynamic, state-of-the-art facility. Within three days, installation was completed with minimal manpower and little disruption to the construction trades. “We monitor each cooler area’s temperature to maintain strict product integrity guidelines,” continued Pupillo. “InsulWall is performing well at maintaining temperatures and keeping our business fresh.”