Glendale-based Maglio Companies is poised to capture trends in the plant-based refrigerated foods space that have only accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
The family-owned business wants to purchase the building at 555 W. Estabrook Parkway in Glendale for a new refrigerated food production and distribution facility to produce fresh juice, according to documents submitted to the Glendale Plan Commission.
The 77,296-square-foot building was formerly occupied by Forrer Business Interiors Inc., which suddenly closed its operations in 2019. Maglio Companies has placed an offer to purchase the building, but Founders Properties, LLC, which owns the property, has not responded to a recently placed offer, said Sam Maglio, Maglio Companies CEO.
The approximately 6.7-acre property and its improvements are assessed at $4.7 million, according to real estate records. The property was last sold in 2017 for $5.1 million.
Founders Properties did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maglio Companies has been in the fresh and whole produce business for five generations. However, it was only in 2006 that Maglio launched its ready-to-eat and fresh-cut produce sector with its ReadyFresh products.
The company more than doubled its ReadyFresh production capacity in 2016 and in 2017, Maglio Companies launched a juicing operation under the brand name ReadyJuice.
Maglio says the pandemic has only increased demand for these products as consumers develop healthier eating habits.
“We’re seeing people being more conscious of healthier foods and making sure they themselves are as well as they can be if they need to be fighting off a virus or germs,” Maglio said.
The pandemic has also forced restaurants and grocery stores to reallocate labor during the pandemic, which has made Maglio Companies’ ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat products more attractive in light of reduced occupancy and staffing, Maglio added.
The company has increased its focus on the food service side of its business by processing and packaging in smaller units so that its products have a longer shelf-life, which can reduce pressure on restaurant staff who no longer have to cut, wash and prepare ingredients.
“We’re almost ingredient suppliers and we’ve seen big growth in ingredient supply along those lines,” Maglio said. “They put it all together and make the finished product, we prepare the components.”
Although the company would house juicing operations at the former Forrer facility, if it can acquire it, Maglio says the new facility would also involve other business segments. The company is also seeing increased demand for cold-pressed juice, purees, dips, sauces, deli sandwiches, baby food and pre-made salads.
“We’ve got a lot of requests in that refrigerated food manufacturing space and we’re just weighing all of those options as to what goes over there,” Maglio said of the would-be production and distribution facility.