Avocado grower and marketer Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula said it has closed on a more than $19 million purchase of a Riverside building for its expanding fresh produce segment.
The company has been extending the reach of its Renaissance Food Group to grab a greater market share. The wholly-owned subsidiary markets and distributes fresh, value-added packaged fruit and vegetables, ready-to-eat salads and prepared foods through brands including Garden Highway and Chef Essentials.
The 128,000-square-foot refrigerated building sits on about 11 acres at 1730 Eastridge Ave. and was owned and operated by affiliates of the former Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, Calavo said. The facility will enable Renaissance to quickly ramp up capacity and production flow and help it gain more market share in the refrigerated fresh packaged foods category, said Chief Executive Officer Lee Cole. Plus, its Inland Empire location is close to key West Coast markets.
“The new facility enables us to satisfy demand from several key accounts in Southern California, while providing the platform for deeper market penetration across the southwest, including southern Nevada, Arizona and Utah,” Cole said in a statement.
Calavo also recently added a 209,000-square-foot production and distribution facility near Jacksonville, Fla. and renovated and expanded an 89,000-square-foot production facility in Houston for Renaissance activities. Renaissance’s sales grew about 15 percent over its third quarter to $90.7 million, according to recent financial statements.
The grower sells to food distributors, produce wholesalers, supermarket retailers and restaurant chains.