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R.A.M. Produce’s success stems from quality relationships

There are many factors that go into making a company successful, but for Detroit-based R.A.M. Produce, a distributor of over 300 different types of products, it all starts with quality relationships.

“A lot of our success stems from our sales staff and ownership, and is built through our relationships with our shippers and customers,” said Michael Badalament, sales associate for the company. “I think we’ve always maintained a pretty good business because we’re working so hard. It’s a very competitive industry and I think that’s good for a lot of people in general.”

BadalamentMichael Badalament, sales associate for R.A.M. Produce.Business this past year has been going very well for R.A.M Produce, noted Badalament.

“We’ve been very happy with the way things are going,” he said. “We’re progressing pretty well.”

The company has been doing some general improvements to its facilities, Badalament said, adding that there’s “always room for improvement.”

R.A.M Produce’s customers are major wholesalers, independent and major chain retailers, and foodservice wholesalers, in addition to farmers markets, fruit stands and gourmet stores. The company has two locations — the Detroit Produce Terminal, where it does most of its sales, and it’s home base facility, located right outside the city, where it has over 50,000 square feet of ripening rooms, cold storage rooms and packing lines. The company is HACCP-approved and has an AIB rating of excellent.

“Our facilities are pretty well-equipped,” said Badalament. “We constantly keep our inventory in a good motion.”

Of course, no industry comes without its challenges, and according to Badalament, the new electronic logging requirements for truckers could possibly have an impact on business.

“The new rule only allows drivers to be on the road for eight hours at a time,” he noted.

“It’s going to be a big learning curve in our industry. I’m already hearing reports of freight being very high all around the country, but it is what it is.”

The great thing about the produce industry, however, is that “we always seem to make it work,” Badalament added.

As for the Detroit economy, things are really humming, according to Badalament.

“We’ve had some great help from Dan Gilbert at Quicken Loans, which really started kicking stuff in,” he said. “Are we completely there yet? I don’t think so. But do I see it moving in the right direction? Yeah, I really do.”

Badalament noted that there are a lot of new restaurants opening up, which is always good news for the produce industry, as well as a lot of businesses moving back into the city.

“People are picking Detroit as a great place to be now,” he concluded.