The Making of Northeast Produce Inc.
Started in 1975 with $50.00, is how this now multi-million dollar sales producing company began. After a number of semi-successful business ventures, fraught with fire, family politics, and bad partnerships, my father had finally found the business that would become the mainstay for our family.
As a poor Italian immigrant, language was only one of the barriers he had to face. However, his drive and ambition coupled with the opportunities of America made it seem almost impossible not to succeed. Yet, his fire and excitement often got him into trouble. So my mother interceded where she saw fit. The Northeast-Produce-Truckbusiness would not have succeeded without her; neither could have done it without the other.
After two years of selling produce out of a van, on the side of the road and eventually to restaurants, they purchased a home. It was commercially zoned with a three bay garage, which became the base of operation for the business, then called “Plainville Produce”. The business grew as my father started specializing in tomatoes and repacking. He moved the business to the CT Regional Market and renamed it Beauty Brand Tomatoes Inc. During this time his customers ranged from small restaurants to chain stores. One of his greatest Selling-Produce innovations and boost to the company was the “fancy pack” or “4 pak” tomato package. Soon after, he was able to lease a corner space in the market that afforded more room.
In 1980, the business began to focus on tomato repackaging, and a new corporation named Northeast Produce started. More than a decade later, at my grandmother’s urging, my husband came aboard to help out. He discovered his natural knack for business and saw an opportunity in the grape tomato market. They invested in packaging machinery which proved to be the next boost to the company. Since then he has continued to expand the business. Northeast Produce now operates out of a 20,000 square ft. food safe facility and offers a wide variety of tomatoes ranging from grape to organic tomatoes.
We welcome you to join us in the exciting exploration of our company’s unlimited potential in the years ahead.
– Lisa Melninkaitis, President