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MamaMia Produce prides itself on quality produce, fast logistics

MamaMia Produce LLC, headquartered in East Rutherford, NJ, has seven categories of fresh produce, three of which are available in both organic and conventional.

Mike Rozman, president of the company, told The Produce News that most of the company’s products are available year round.

mamamiaJoe Sferrazza, Mike Rozman and Shimon Efergan of MamaMia Produce at the New York Produce Show & Conference in November. Mr. Sferrazza displayed the company’s organic beefsteak tomatoes. (Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg)“We bring our produce in by air, sea and truck, depending on where it’s produced and what the fastest possible way to get it to our customers is,” said Mr. Rozman. “At MamaMia, we control logistics in order to provide the quickest solution.”

Distribution of all of its produce is done from MamaMia’s New Jersey location so the company sees the exact condition of product. Mr. Rozman said this is why it has few rejections. It is then delivered to customers in temperature-controlled trucks to ensure that the cold chain is unbroken.

Mini greenhouse cucumbers are one of MamaMia’s categories, and are produced in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico.

“These are dark in color and extremely flavorful,” said Mr. Rozman. “We offer them in loose packs for wholesalers and 14-ounce packs for retailers under the ‘MamaMia’ and ‘La Vita’ labels. These cucumbers are classified as high-value by our chainstore customers.”

The company has a seasonal avocado program that runs from September through March. Mr. Rozman said that MamaMia is a leading shipper of Hass avocados from the Dominican Republic, most of which are produced in the southern part of the country near the Haiti border. The area is drier and therefore produces flavorful fruit. The company will be offering the avocados in net bags this year, in addition to its other offerings.

MamaMia is also known for its smooth-skinned avocados, especially the Carla variety from the Dominican Republic.

“These run from mid-February to the end of March,” said Mr. Rozman. “They have very high oil content, and are much more flavorful than other smooth-skinned avocados.”

Another category for the company is its greenhouse sweet peppers that are available year round from Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The company sells a rainbow package of bell peppers under the “MamaMia” label.

“People are amazed at how thick and heavy these peppers are the first time they see them,” said Mr. Rozman.

“And our famous ‘Ariel’ finger-sized peppers are available in conventional and organic options,” he continued. “The peppers have a Brix of over 10. They are a perfect serving size. There is more demand than supply currently, but we hope to have more by July.”

MamaMia also offers three colors of field-grown habanero peppers, two colors of Thai chili peppers and two colors of finger-sized hot peppers. These are from the Dominican Republic, and are available year round in loose packs and small clamshells.

The company’s hard squash program, also from the Dominican Republic, begins in February and runs through June.

“Our biggest category is tomatoes,” said Mr. Rozman. “We offer 12 varieties, with the mini sweet on-the-vine cherry being the most popular. Our mini yellow sweet and different color grape tomatoes are also popular, and they range between nine and 10 on the Brix scale.”

A new program for MamaMia Produce is its organic vegetables from Mexico. The company will offer organic artichokes, fava beans, cranberry beans, hybrid large, baby and purple artichokes and brussels sprouts.

“These items are currently on a trial basis, and will be commercially distributed in time for the fall and winter holidays,” said Mr. Rozman.

MamaMia is working with its growers in the Dominican Republic and Mexico toward PrimusLab certification, and it is finalizing its HACCP certificate at its packinghouse.

The company vice president is Shimon Efergan, and its sales manager is Joe Sferrazza.

“We have a great group of trained and experienced staff members on our team,” said Mr. Rozman. “Shimon handles things inside the office, I do most of the traveling to our farms and Joe does an outstanding job of overseeing sales.”