Sunfresh Produce, Happy Foods Combine Forces

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY OCT 12, 2015

After a merger with Happy Foods of Southwest Florida last week, Sunfresh Produce reports it has become the leading regional produce supplier serving the Tampa-to-Naples market. With a renovated warehouse and an expanded inventory and list of suppliers, the company now hopes it can continue a pattern of aggressive growth and start offering prices low enough to compete for chain restaurants and other clientele.

The two companies have now been re-organized and will do business as Sunfresh Produce, with Happy Food owners now holding stock in the new company. Sunfresh has operated in Southwest Florida for more than 20 years and was purchased by Sarasota businessman Steve Clark in 2012. The combined company is now running at a $25-million rate of revenue, Clark said. “Sunfresh under its previous life was oriented toward small restaurants, pizza chains and sandwich shops, but when I bought it I changed the focus to go after more white tablecloth restaurants,” Clark says. The company in the Sarasota area works with such establishments as Libby’s Cafe and Bar, Duval’s and Blu Kouzina.

Happy Foods, meanwhile, operated in the Fort Myers-Naples market, where it was reaching capacity at its own facilities. A merger with Sunfresh made sense to owners there. “We’re taking the best of his [Clark’s] company and the best of mine,” said Terry Dean, Happy Foods owner. “Customer service is going to get even better.”

Dean will stay on with the merged company, where Clark serves as chairman of the board. Operations have been consolidated into Sunfresh’s Englewood warehouse. As Sunfresh had already recently expanded into the Tampa market, the service area now runs the entire Southwest Florida coastline. Clark said the company now has relationships with a substantial number of the region’s premier chefs, as well as approximately 50 local farms. “Many of those are specialty food providers or grow organically, which interests many of our top chefs,” Clark said.

« View The Monday Oct 12, 2015 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Motorworks Brewery Grand Opening

Motorworks Brewery Grand Opening

May 23, 2020

Sarah Lodge to Fill a Vacant Position on the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board

Sarah Lodge to Fill a Vacant Position on the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board

May 22, 2020

Sarasota Opens Beach, Experiments with Road Closures

Sarasota Opens Beach, Experiments with Road Closures

Jacob Ogles | May 21, 2020

Economic Leaders Say Interest in Region Hasn't Waned

Economic Leaders Say Interest in Region Hasn't Waned

May 18, 2020