In need of additional 70,000 sq ft. within two years

Divine Flavor comments on expanding Nogales, Arizona facility

Table grape giant Divine Flavor recently announced that they are adding an additional 70,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse to its existing headquarters in Nogales, Arizona. The project broke ground around October 1 and should be complete by the end of March. It’s a $7.5 million investment that will add onto the current 100,000 square foot distribution center.

Space was much needed
Jose Antonio Martinez, financial manager with Divine Flavor, is particularly excited about the expansion project. “The first building, the one that we’re at right now, it was inaugurated January 1, 2015,” he explains. “(It’s) 100,000 square feet and two years later we’re already in need of another 70,000 square feet which is what we’re building. It’s exciting to have this challenge ahead of us as a team at Divine Flavor in order to manage and consolidate the operation in a single building.” 

High volume of fruit consolidated to one location
The new warehouse will offer much the extra cold storage space and technology including seven brand new cold rooms, an FDA-approved inspection area and sophisticated repackaging machinery and equipment and LED lighting throughout to conserve energy. A large component for the expansion however, was consolidation. “One of the main reasons – if not the main reason – that we’re building it is because the amount of volume that we handle at certain times of the season is such that the amount of square feet we have now is not enough so we need to lease more warehouses around town.” Last year Martinez says they had to lease space at four warehouses in addition to their own. “Having everything in one building will give us more comfort in the way we handle our operations.” It also eliminates the need for trucks to visit multiple facilities in order to pick up produce.

Innovative technology
Extra storage space was much needed, which will also come with the benefit of innovative technology solutions in packaging. The expansion will also allow for better inventory control to include pallet bar code tracking, and all products will be at the same location, yielding high efficiency. Martinez indicates there will be a large area dedicated solely to their table grapes, including a room dedicated to USDA inspections onsite. The six new cold storage rooms will be equipped with temperature control, online monitoring and racks for increased storage – plus air purifying technology to eliminate any microorganisms or poor air quality. 

Job creation for the community
Divine Flavor has been answering demand for higher product volumes year after year since its creation in 2006. "We estimate that about five million boxes of products will be shipped out on a seasonal basis after completion." The extra square footage will also see up to 50 more jobs created for the community, something Martinez indicates is definitely meaningful for the company. “We’re exited about having this up and running and we’re looking forward to next season.”

For more information:
Jose Antonio Martinez
Divine Flavor 
Ph: (520) 281 8328

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