Get Fresh Produce

Everybody wants his or her food to be as fresh as possible nowadays, and Get Fresh Produce Inc. is committed to providing it. Business relationships and referrals from satisfied customers build the business. Also important is responding to customers’ needs. This builds the loyalty that the customers of Get Fresh Produce Inc. demonstrate.

The company specializes in premium, quality, fresh produce. True to its name, the produce is obtained daily from regions around the country where it is grown. Get Fresh Produce offers fresh fruits and vegetables to its customers, along with a full line of dairy, imported cheeses, dry goods and Italian specialty items.

The company offers market updates on produce availability. It also can develop menu items and suggest products for sale or preparation based on its supply, any fluctuations in the market and whether the food is in season. The company also publishes a weekly newsletter to inform its customers on the availability of certain products and trends in their pre­p­a­ration.

A recent issue of the newsletter offered updates on various types of lettuce, mixed vegetables, eastern and west­ern vegetables – such as cucumbers, green and red bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash – and onions, potatoes, tom­atoes, avocados, berries, apples, pears, citrus, grapes, soft fruit and melons.

Get Fresh Produce is a member of the Produce Alliance, which is a management group that pro­vides fresh produce to the foodservice industry. Members of the Produce All­iance are independent distributors who own and operate their own businesses. They have refrigerated trucks, skilled drivers, trained warehouse crews and know­ledgeable sales and customer ser­vice people.

Members also provide an integrated computerized inventory and produce pric­ing system and online order entry. The alliance has established criteria in service, safety and integrity.

Established in Chicago

Get Fresh Produce Inc. was founded in 1982. It originally opened as a produce store in Chicago. The company is privately held by Jim and Sharon Costabile and Gino Alimondi.

“Get Fresh Produce has an outstanding team of sales, customer service and operations professionals,” it says. “We are proud of the combination of complementary skills and industry experience among the Get Fresh team members. Our goal is to pro­vide pro­duce professionals to serve our cus­tomers.”

Now located in Bartlett, Ill., the company delivers within a 125-mile radius of Chicago. It has constructed an 86,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution facility there. The company also operates its own fleet of climate-controlled delivery trucks.

Food Safety

Get Fresh Produce Inc. has an intensive food safety program that addresses HACCP evaluation, sanitation, pest control, vendor certification, employee training, biosecurity risks, quality assurance, product sourcing and recall. The company conducts internal mock audits and recalls at measured intervals to test its procedures.

It also is audited annually for food safety and quality practices by independent, third-party auditors, such as Silliker Laboratories in Chicago. After a recent audit, Get Fresh Produce received the company’s gold certification of recognition. “We take the responsibility of providing our customers with food products that have been handled in the best possible manner very seriously,” the company pledges.

Customer Service

When Get Fresh starts a new business relationship with a client, an account executive is assigned to the customer to analyze the customer’s needs and expectations. The account executive also checks product specifications, pricing and credit terms along with delivery times and frequency. This information is used to produce a customized profile of the customer.

Personalized monthly order guides are offered to customers. Orders placed Sunday through Friday up to 9 p.m. can receive next-day delivery.

Online Ordering

Ordering can be streamlined by doing it online. Access to the company’s order entry system can be provided by the customer’s account executive. This will enable customers to have online access to different reports on their purchases and invoice detail. When ordering online, customers also can receive invoices electronically and submit payments electronically as an ACH transaction.

Get Fresh Produce supplies chef’s specialty lists. These provide custo­mers with seasonal items and ones that are more exotic than traditional produce. Prices are subject to changes from market trends. The products require ordering at least one day in advance.

A recent specialty list from Harmony Valley Farm in Wisconsin offered spin­ach, cilantro, sunchokes, daikon and par­­s­nips, along with a mix that included root vegetables for soup or roasting. The mix included orange or purple carrots, par­s­nips, three colors of turnips, celeriac and rutabaga.

Another list of fall specials included various types of pumpkins, gourds, corn, squash, cider and apples. Other items offered include white pie pumpkins and Cinderella pumpkins; strawberry and Indian corn; turban, spaghetti, gold and white acorn, butternut and buttercup squash; and autumn leaves with stems.