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Robertson Produce expanding product line

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 1:51 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Shortly after the pandemic took the country by storm last year, Philip Carpenter with Robertson Produce says many grocery stores and restaurants found themselves in a tough spot.

“So we stepped in with a lot of these grocers and acted as a secondary supplier to refill their shelves when necessary,” says Carpenter.

Robertson Produce is a wholesale distributor for the ArkLaMiss and ArkLaTex region. For nearly 75 years, its been supplying food services to restaurants, grocery store chains, schools, correctional facilities, universities, and military outlets.

One business owner says he couldn’t imagine the last year without it.

“It would have been extremely difficult,” says Ron Long, owner of Braiz’n restaurant in Monroe.

Long says the pandemic not only impacted his revenue, but also made it harder to get products from out of state distributors.

“With certain items there was no idea when they were going to get them in and if they were in it might be a week or two week delay before i could get them,” says long. “Robertson’s had that ability to order in small quantities and get what I specifically needed.”

Although Robertson Produce is based out of Monroe, it supplies food services within a 150 mile radius, reaching as far as Central Louisiana, Longview, Texas, southern Arkansas and Clinton, Mississippi. Carpenter says it’s one of the only local distributors in our area, making it that more critical to the region.

“We need to have a local distributor so we can get products whenever the need arises,” says Carpenter. “You can’t have all your eggs in one basket.”

It’s one of many lessons business owners like Long has had to learn during the pandemic, but he says its also made them stronger.

“Covid has helped us form a stronger bond with our vendors, especially our local vendors, because we’re supporting one another,” says Long.

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