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BRS Produce Co. praises sales team for success

Operating in units D-2 and D-3 in the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market—a position they’ve had since the market opened in 2011—BRS Produce Co., offers vegetables from every growing region in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Though the 44-year-old company specializes in tropical produce, it also offers mushrooms, and tomatoes from all growing regions and house California products year-round.

“We still handle most of the same lines that we’ve always done,” said Rick Milavsky, president of the company. “We’ve dealt with the same shippers for years and we are loyal to them and they are loyal to us, and we try to do the best we can for them.”

P1060143-copyKen Gregg, John Miklosey and Anthony Carbone, sales representatives for BRS Produce.BRS Produce’ customer base is mostly within a 150-mile radius of the market, and it services the Atlantic City and New York City areas, as well as Baltimore, Washington D.C. and as far west as Harrisburg, PA. Customers include foodservice wholesalers that supply hotels, casinos and industrial operations, and small chain retailers.

“I like dealing with the customers and many are the same people, and everyone tries to be fair and it’s just a good business to be in; I do like it for sure,” Milavsky said. “Most of the customers are from the Tri-State area and we’re always looking to make new relationships.”

Milavsky credits his sales team with being a huge part of the company’s success, offering praise for Anthony Carbone, Ken Gregg and John Miklosey.

“It’s mostly about them because they do all the work. They are good with the people, have excellent people skills and do a nice job for me,” he said. “I have young guys working for me who are real aggressive and if they feel they can bring an item in and it’s profitable, I give them free reign to do it.”

Then there’s night salesman Bob Venuto, who Milavsky has had a long working relationship with.

“Our customers all really like him and he’s done a great job for us at night,” Milavsky said.

The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market has been an excellent place to do business, Milavsky said, thanks to the cold chain facilities and the ease of navigation inside the market.

“It’s easy to get stuff from point A to point B; it’s easier to unload the trucks and get things set up in the coolers quickly,” he said. “We work hard to keep up with trends and that’s easy to do here. You bring stuff in from across the country and you try to stay on top of it all.”

In 2019, the company is seeing a continued demand for specialty items and convenience items.

“We get a lot of people looking for organic, which we don’t sell a lot of right now,” Milavsky said. “It’s really all about the convenience. People don’t have as much time to prepare foods today so they are looking for a lot of pre-packaged stuff, whether that means pre-packaged salads or peppers that are tray-packed.”

The winter was a little slow, which isn’t atypical at the market, but BRS Produce expects things to pick up as the calendar turns to May as local produce picks up a lot and the company does a great deal with that. “It’s a nice time and you see a lot of local stuff and something different every day,” Milavsky said.