D’Arrigo New York builds on long tradition of success

darrigoteam Family-owned and operated for more than five decades, D’Arrigo New York, provides the New York Metropolitan area with a full line of the highest quality fruit and vegetable items available every day of the year from its 130,000-square-foot warehouse inside the Hunts Point Produce Market in New York.

“We are unique in that not only are we in our fourth generation as a family company but we have five of us coming from the fourth generation,” said Gabriela D’Arrigo, communications director of the company. “It isn’t often that you come across family businesses that have the numbers or enthusiasm for the business that we do. We are excited and proud to continue the legacy that was started before us.”

That legacy started on July 4, 1948, when 25-year-old Stephen D’Arrigo took the reins from his dad and uncle, Andrew and Stefano, and opened a New York site in what is now Tribeca.

Over the years, the company has faced many challenges and continued to thrive, but the coronavirus crisis has been something they’ve never seen before.

“Like most others, we have adapted,” D’Arrigo said. “I think this experience has shown the strength and need for wholesale markets to the industry.”

She credits the employees and company partners for being nimble and making the changes necessary to stay successful, calling them the “foundation of our business day in and day out.”

There are other challenges D’Arrigo New York is facing as well, with the glaring challenge for the business is attracting and retaining talent.

“This environment is tough and the hours are unforgiving making it less attractive than other segments within the industry,” D’Arrigo said. “There is also the initiative for growth, with the current state of the country the focus is to maintain consistency in service for our suppliers and customers.”

The company’s customer base is throughout the tri-state area and beyond. The reach has grown over the years and has remained consistent, and the base is mostly independent retail, smaller wholesale, and foodservice accounts.

“The New York marketplace is one of the largest in the world,” D’Arrigo said. “There are millions of people inhabiting and traveling through this city every single day, and opportunity for growth is attractive.”

Over the past two months, the company has seen an uptick in garlic, tumeric, aloe, items that are immune boosters or can supplement to make home sanitizers.

“Easy grab-n-go fruits such as apples, citrus and bananas have been very strong as well,” D’Arrigo said. “Markets are higher than normal for this time of year for some of those items.”

In the months ahead, the company looks forward to strengthening some of the new relationships within the community in the Bronx.

“If not for any other reason, the fact that New York is a cultural melting pot makes it a strong produce town,” D’Arrigo said. “You have people from all over the world from different cultures who have introduced a lot of the items you see today on the shelves. As suppliers, we received different requests for items that a lot of us have never even heard of.”

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