Issue Summer 10
Based in Dayton, Ohio, the fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale company ProduceOne serves an array of clients, including restaurants, schools, hospitals, arenas and hotels. The Pavlofsky family founded the firm in 1948, and today – three generations later – it employs a staff of 73 and operates locations in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. In addition to produce, ProduceOne offers dairy products, herbs and prepared salads.
ProduceOne serves both national and local accounts, Principal and co-owner Ervin Pavlofsky says. An important factor in that service has been its relationship with PRO*ACT, a fresh produce distributor based in Monterey, Calif., that has “helped grow our territories into multiple cities,” he says.
Owned by a group of food distributors, PRO*ACT has more than 70 distribution centers in the United States and Canada. “PRO*ACT brings fresh produce solutions to customers throughout the country, whether they are national, regional or even local solutions in the form of buying,” Principal and co-owner Gary Pavlofsky says. “It [is] really a comprehensive approach to produce distribution.”
As ProduceOne has grown in the past 62 years, the firm has not lost its family owned, hands-on feel. Vice President of Sales Cord Reeves says Gary and Ervin Pavlofsky always make themselves accessible to its employees. “There’s no ivory tower at ProduceOne,” Reeves states.
ProduceOne also is blessed with a staff of experienced associates, Gary Pavlofsky says. “Of our 73 employees, 25 percent [have] over 20 years in the company,” he says, noting that he personally has 27 years with ProduceOne. Ervin Pavlofsky has 23 years of experience, and Vice President of Operations Rob Stichweh has more than 35 in the industry. Both Pavlofskys say that they have enjoyed the customer relationships they have developed as they have managed ProduceOne.
“I think it’s fair to say we [also] enjoy the longevity [of the company],” Gary Pavlofsky says, noting that he expects the company to keep growing. “I’m sure we’ll continue to develop our footprint throughout the state. We will look for opportunities in areas of the state we are not presently servicing and hire sales professionals to staff those areas.”
Recently, ProduceOne has undertaken several initiatives, including a new strategic partnership with Premier Produce, a produce supplier in Cleveland. According to Pavlofsky, this agreement will allow ProduceOne to partner with Premier Produce and leverage the company’s staff and distribution center in Cleveland.
This relationship allows ProduceOne to grow in northern Ohio by having Premier Produce service those markets. It also gives ProduceOne access to the established program Premier Produce has with local farmers, and Premier’s extensive specialty foods offering.
ProduceOne also has started to provide an array of locally grown products. These not only allow ProduceOne to support its local economy but also reduce the energy footprint by supporting the local farmers.