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Creativity sees Maglio Produce to 5th generation

Maglio Produce securing a fifth-generation member this spring “speaks to the longevity” of the company, Sam Maglio, owner of the Milwaukee-based firm, said.

His son, Paul Maglio, graduated from Boston College this spring and comes to the family firm, established in 1902, with a degree in finance and information systems.

Longevity is acheived by way of creativity, Sam Maglio noted. “If you don’t evolve you can’t expect to be around.”

Evolution brought Maglio Produce to its current focus of helping its foodservice customers develop the produce utilization that is best for their operation. “‘What is your produce strategy?’ “ is what we consistently ask our customers,” Maglio said. “The bulk of the produce business is based on tactical operations and reactionary activities; we aim to guide clients into strategic thought processes and designed supply systems. My latest blog post [July 3] speaks to this industry issue of strategy —


Maglio Produce enjoys national distribution through allied businesses strategically located throughout the country. In 13 states, Maglio also directly delivers product from its Wisconsin and Minnesota facilities using Blackhaw Transport, a dedicated refrigerated fleet operation.

From Maglio Boston on the New England Produce Center in Chelsea, MA, “we service four states; all of the product there is picked up from the facility. At the NEPC we currently perform the value-added operations of tomato repacking and split case packing,” Maglio said.

Maglio Produce serves all sizes of foodservice operators. “Our multi-unit division focuses on the needs of restaurant concepts with tens to hundreds to thousands of units. By helping those groups develop a produce strategy and then working with them to implement it from the grower through to their distributor, we add value to their supply side. We are adept at bringing producers and end users together to forge new partnerships beneficial to both parties. Typically, we focus on a developing a supply solution for a select group of high volume commodities that are important to the particular group we are working with. Quite often that starts with tomatoes and branches out into a full range of commodities,” he said.

Paul Maglio “has a strong operations background” in the family business, his father said, having worked with the firm since he was 12 years old. His first role will be buying commodities and he will shift to tomato buying later this year.

“Our family has been working in the produce business in America since 1902,” Maglio said. “My father began the wholesale business in 1947 selling the basics that any restaurant would need (potatoes, lettuce, onions and tomatoes — PLOT). Since then we have expanded to fulfill the needs of our distribution customers with every commodity category from apples to zucchini. We do value-added packing of those items into split-case units as well as size reduction in our fresh-cut division.”