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Detroit’s resurgence continues

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For wholesalers on the market and growers in the southeast, Detroit is an ever-expanding hub of vibrant growth fueling the demand for fresh commodities.

“The City of Detroit has experienced a great rejuvenation over the past few years, which has created opportunities for wholesale companies to grow,” said Dominic Riggio, president of Riggio Distribution Company, BB #:104709 who has seen “demand for fresh produce increase dramatically in the city and beyond.”

The substantial growth is stellar for those moving fresh commodities.

“In terms of produce, the suburbs have continued to grow, and service areas continue to grow outward,” said Nate Stone, in charge of special projects for Ben B. Schwartz & Sons, Inc. BB #:104793 “It certainly has momentum, and that’s encouraging.”

At this point, the effects of Detroit’s downturn are history. According to Dominic Russo, a buyer for Rocky Produce, Inc., BB #:104786 “Everything going on in Detroit within the city, in the suburbs, and across the state has built confidence with the consumer to buy, so demand has been there in retail and on the foodservice side.”

Jim Morell, president of trucking company Ohio National Express Transportation, Inc., BB #:188398 or O.N.E. for short, sums up the brightest part of last year in similar fashion, emphasizing one word: demand.

“There’s a lot of demand,” he said. “Produce is moving, people have to eat, they need our service, and it’s good to see the need.”

For Morell and the Cleveland-based O.N.E., Detroit’s boon provides a gateway to freight-moving opportunities.

Morell foresees increased business into the city because of its major perks, including “a larger produce terminal market, a secondary Eastern Market, and several Canadian companies using Detroit cross-docking facilities to transfer produce loads.”

Despite Detroit having a bad rap in the past, Stone said, “I think Detroit—at least I would hope—is well past that stigma.”

Further, he notes, “Others may be rooting for Detroit to be a great city again, but we already think it is. If you haven’t visited in a while, come see us.”

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full version.