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Riggio Distribution remains productive at Detroit Produce Terminal

As a wholesaler in Detroit, Riggio Distribution Co. touches on all aspects of the produce industry. As an anchor tenant at the Detroit Produce Terminal, the company offers a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables which are shipped seven days a week to retail customers and foodservice customers and sourced from area growers.

“Michigan seems to be doing pretty well and the economy seems to be doing much better,” said Dominic Riggio, president of Riggio Distribution Co. “You see it in sales and volume and in the amount of workers available.”

RIGGIO-Logo-JPEG-3 At the terminal, locally grown produce and organic are two of the biggest conversation starters, and that’s been a consistent buzz for a while.

“As far as organic, we are up to more than 100 SKUs and have special orders and seasonal opportunities, so it can go up from there,” Riggio said. “Our organic footprint continues to grow as the supply becomes more available and more affordable.”

Riggio is the exclusive distributor for big companies like Earthbound Farm and Cal Organics, and has partnered with some local greenhouses to help keeps some hard-to-fill SKUs available 12 months a year.

“We have a locally grown, hydroponic butter lettuce, which is 12 months for us. Some of our mushrooms that are growing indoors are available,” he said. “Still, local for the most part is more seasonal.”

Business for the company has been solid. Riggio said that the first six months of 2017 have seen increasing sales, and that the different segments it works with play off each other to keep things strong.

“Some of our independent retailers are challenged right now, as retail seems to be challenging for our customers overall, but the good thing is that we’re diversified between retail and foodservice accounts,” he said. “When retail isn’t on the upswing, foodservice seems to make up the difference because of all the new restaurants or clubs opening up in downtown Detroit. There’s been a new revival that helps. Other times, foodservice takes a backseat to retail.”

Kale and superfoods continue to be very popular in both segments and brussels sprouts have been really hot in 2017. Swiss chard and leafy greens are also starting to make some noise.

“It’s all the healthy stuff, which is good, because ultimately we sell vitamins; that’s our business,” Riggio said.

The company is constantly looking to expand and grow and looking to add good people to its team, and believes 2017 will be one of the year’s best.