Berry marketer Sun Belle Inc. has agreed to acquire the business and property of CoolHouse Distribution Center, LLC in Laredo, Texas. The acquisition adds a fifth Sun Belle distribution center to company operated facilities in Jessup, Maryland; Miami, Florida; Schiller Park, Illinois; and Oxnard, California.
CoolHouse’s three-year old facility has 35,000 square feet of refrigerated and freezer space on 11.4 acres of land. The building was designed to be doubled in size and is strategically located between Laredo’s two international bridges across the Rio Grande, the Colombia Solidarity Bridge and the World Trade Bridge.
Right: Lucy Montemayor.
CoolHouse Distribution Center was established in 2017 by Lucy Montemayor and her father Rodolfo Delgado, principals of well-known customs broker Rodel International, Inc. CoolHouse transloads and handles an average of 50-60 trucks daily. The facility is certified to handle organics, is Kosher certified, and is approved by US Customs to transload In-Bond shipments with Canadian and European destinations.
Janice Honigberg, president of Sun Belle Inc., announced that Sun Belle has purchased 100% of CoolHouse Distribution Center and will maintain the existing CoolHouse third party business under the CoolHouse banner. Lucy Montemayor will join Sun Belle as general manager of the Laredo distribution center.
“I have known and worked with Lucy for more than 20 years and have always been impressed by her expertise and integrity,” said Honigberg.
Montemayor said she is excited to join forces with Sun Belle. “Janice and others strongly urged me to start CoolHouse to help meet the growing need for transloading and other services. We designed our facility from the ground-up in such a way that the warehouse can be expanded by another 35,000 feet in the same configuration. We built it with expansion in mind.”
Honigberg added, “We have long known that a Sun Belle refrigerated handling and distribution center in Texas was our next step. This took on greater importance following our recently announced long-term exclusive marketing and distribution agreement with Giddings Mexico.”
Patricio Cortes, general manager and co-founder of Giddings Mexico, said, “We are extremely pleased that Sun Belle is establishing a distribution center in Laredo. As we continue to increase our berry production in many diverse growing areas throughout central and northern Mexico, we are confident that this centralized distribution center will add significant customer support and real time responsiveness.”
Honigberg noted that in addition to CoolHouse, a sales and distribution company named Sun Belle Laredo will also be established to deliver berries directly to customers in the south and southwest and for customer pick-ups. “Between our five distribution centers we can service retailers and food service providers throughout the country with even better efficiency and coverage.”