Peddler’s Son Produce started in the back of Ted Palmisano’s pick-up truck in the middle of August in 1988. Ted picked up product every morning and drove around Arizona and metro-Phoenix, going door-to-door until the product was sold. The next morning, he would get up and do it all over again. Today, Ted’s pick-up truck produce company is now operating out of a 17,000 square foot warehouse in Downtown Phoenix, with 18 trucks, 58 employees, and over 300 food-related clients ranging from grocery stores to restaurants.
Last week, PCA Chairman, Marty Shultz visited Peddler’s Son’s warehouse and its charismatic leaders Ted and Joe Palmisano (Ted’s brother that heads up the sales and finance side of the business) to learn more about the operation first-hand. Marty toured the large storage and staging area to the tomato re-packaging and specialty produce coolers (some of the specialty items, Marty admits, he had never seen nor heard of before), discovering the intricacies and challenges of running a small-business in Phoenix today.
“What are some of the challenges?” Mr. Shultz asks the two brothers during the tour. Joe was quick to reply, “Credit.” With the downward economy, payments from clients are trickling in much later and restaurants are closing their doors because they can’t get the credit needed to ride out the storm. Other factors like increasing gas prices also raise costs necessary to the operation.
Despite these circumstances, Peddler’s Son Produce has invested in itself to address the current trends in its industry. They have a certified HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) manager on-site to insure the system protects the food in all aspects of the process from receiving and storage to shipping and recall. Also, all of Peddler’s Son’s employees have their food handler’s license, which is not a requirement, but demonstrates the company’s seriousness about food-safety. In March 2011, Peddler’s Son invited the Department of Agriculture to audit the facility and received a 98.9% rating (415 of a possible 420 points), a testament to the success of the initiatives. Congratulations Peddler’s Son Produce for your success in Arizona and thanks for your membership to Phoenix Community Alliance!
Are you a small-business in the Downtown and Central City wanting to be the ‘first to know’ about the issues affecting your business? Contact Phoenix Community Alliance to learn more about our membership.