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Capitol City Produce Chief Operating Officer Darin Arceneaux, left, and President/CEO Paul Ferachi discuss the operation as forklifts move produce like the cucumbers between the truck docks and cold storage. Capitol City Produce announced Wednesday that it is acquiring Table Fresh Foods LLC.  

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY TRAVIS SPRADLING

Capitol City Produce Co. LLC is acquiring Table Fresh Foods LLC's distribution operations so Table Fresh can focus on its commissary business.

Table Fresh, a subsidiary of Associated Grocers, makes prepared foods such as entrees and side dishes that are distributed to grocery stores, restaurants and delis.

Darin Arceneaux, chief operating officer of Capitol City Produce, said the deal just covers Table Fresh’s restaurant clients and not the AG stores that use the products. Capitol City recently completed a 51,000-square-foot expansion of its distribution facility near the intersection of Interstate 12 and O’Neal Lane.

Table Fresh offers items that Capitol City Produce didn’t have, like a line of about 30 different cheese products. That will create opportunities for more business, especially when it is included with all of the additional produce and specialty produce Capital City Produce can offer because of the larger warehouse, Arceneaux said.

“This should be a smooth transition for the existing Table Fresh customers,” he said. “We’re already pulling up to their back door.”

Emile Breaux, AG president and chief operating officer, said the deal with Capital City Produce allows Table Fresh to focus exclusively on supermarket customers. 

"The operational expertise and capital needs of these two lines of business are quite different," he said.

Under a signed agreement, the Baton Rouge companies are expected to complete the distribution operations deal on Dec. 30. Five vehicles are included in the deal. The price was not disclosed.

Breaux said the deal and recent growth of Capitol City Produce provides the distribution employees with career path opportunities.

Capitol City Produce growing with the times

Mike Doss, who has a key leadership role at Table Fresh Foods, will join Capitol City Produce to lead its specialty foods initiatives and continue working with Capitol City Produce's new customers.

Capitol City Produce was founded in 1947 by the Ferachi family and has grown as a produce provider in the Gulf Coast region. In addition to produce, it offers a specialty line of products including specialty produce, local produce, local dairy, cheeses, frozen foods, imported fine chocolates and bakery items.