It continues a trend of fewer but larger wholesalers on the world’s largest produce wholesale terminal market. In 1967 there were 125 wholesalers. Today, there are 40 wholesalers, but it soon will be 39.
Katzman, which also operates Katzman Berry Corp., contracted to buy Okun’s 16 units on Row B after purchasing five units on Row D in late January, said Steve Katzman, president.
The purchase expands Katzman’s market presence from 21 units to 37 units on the 262 unit terminal,
Okun owner Roni Okun has decide to retire. The Okun name will not be retained.
Katzman Produce owns 100 vans storing produce alongside the terminal and Katzman said the purchase should help easy some of the market’s space headaches.
“This will help us tremendously in the expansion of our business,” he said. “We will have more refrigeration space and have plans to modernize the units. This will help us with not having to double-handle product and helps by not breaking the cold chain.”
Distributing a full line of fruit and vegetables to retailers and foodservice purveyors throughout the Tri-State region, Okun began operations in 1926 as a small family-owned venture on the old Washington Market in south Manhattan.
A fourth-generation family company, Katzman sells conventional, organic and specialty produce to retailers, restaurants, distributors and caterers throughout the Northeast as well as to customers in Canada, Europe and the North Atlantic.
Katzman’s produce lineage traces to 1890 when Samuel Katzman sold bunched greens and other vegetables from a horse and wagon.
The Katzman operation is also a partner with Top Banana LLC in Top Katz Brokers LLC.