Originally printed in the March 2023 issue of Produce Business.
Kegel’s Produce, Lancaster, PA, is proud to be celebrating its 75th year of providing fresh fruit and produce to customers across Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
As a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council-certified and family-owned wholesale business, Kegel’s Produce attributes its success to the family’s strong work ethic, including the efforts of Kegel’s Produce president Suzanne Myers, along with the efforts of the buying staff, the sales staff and specialties purchasing.
Quality and staying focused on produce, is key to the company’s endurance. “Fresh is best, that’s our goal,” says Kenny Myers, chief operating officer. “We strive to give the freshest produce to our customers.”
Many factors can be attributed to the company’s longevity, success and continued expansion over the decades. Kenny Myers points to key factors, such as the wholesale company’s ability to consistently turn over fresh produce on a daily basis and provide customers with the highest quality.
Fresh-cut is also a continuing and growing trend in the industry, says Myers, one which Kegel’s Produce has been on the forefront. Since 1986, Kegel’s Produce has stayed ahead of the curve, offering an in-house fresh-cut department with hundreds of customizable options. The 114,000 square-foot facility houses an extensive selection of local produce and a modern, intuitive online ordering portal. Six temperature-controlled coolers further optimize shelf life of the products and the company’s stringent food safety program ensures customer confidence in the freshness of their products.
“There continues to be labor challenges in foodservice,” adds Myers. “Fresh-cut services are a growing trend that gives further convenience and consistency to our customers.”
Certainly, times have changed considerably since Earl Kegel built the foundation of the company back in 1948. Today, Kegel’s Produce provides flexible delivery schedules and convenient pack sizes. The company employs a cloud-based system with tablets for all drivers, an electronic interface and a digital invoice system. The company is a member of the American Institute of Sanitation, the ASI and Rochester Midland audits its facilities regularly for sanitation, food handling and overall cleanliness. Kegel’s has been certified as a Safe Quality Food (SQF) compliant facility with team members who are HACCP certified.
And the future looks bright for Kegel’s Produce. Myers is excited and looking forward to the next generation of the family taking a leadership role in the company— after they pay their dues, of course. “There is no free ticket,” says Myers. The next generation of Kegel’s Produce includes K.J. Myers (St. Joseph’s University), Kerek Myers (Elon College) and Koby Myers (Lancaster Catholic High School).
Kegel’s Produce has kept to its core values as it has grown throughout the years. “I’ve worked here my whole life,” says Myers. “Work. That’s my approach.”
To help celebrate the 75 years in business, a spring open house is planned to honor management, team members and customers.