COLUMBUS, OH — DNO Produce (DNO), a leading fresh-cut produce processor and wholesale produce distributor, has broken ground on an expansion to its fresh-cut produce facility. The expansion will increase DNO’s production capacity by 33% through additional space, improved layout, and process improvements.
“This is an investment in our clients and our company, and our community,” said DNO President and Chief Operating Officer Alex DiNovo. “As the demand for our school food service offerings continues to grow, we are implementing new technologies to make our operations more efficient, add meaningful job opportunities in east Columbus, and provide a top-quality product.”
DNO’s expansion will establish new processing and packaging technologies and streamline fresh-cut packing lines, paving the way to introduce new and innovative products through its FRESHEALTH private label. FRESHEALTH products are most well-known within federal nutrition programs, most notably in K-12 food service.
“It is so exciting to see this place keep growing,” said Laura Aguilar, a 21-year veteran of the DNO and FRESHEALTH teams. “When I first started working here, there were just a few of us in one small building. Now, we have nearly two hundred people. We have come a long way and learned a lot. What I appreciate most is working for a family company that is excited about providing good food for children.”
DNO Produce is a certified HUBZone company, a distinction awarded by the Small Business Administration. The certification identifies that DNO provides meaningful commercial activity and employment opportunities to an economically underutilized area. The expansion is expected to be complete by August of 2022.
About DNO Produce: Committed to Healthy Made Easy, DNO Produce is a fresh-cut produce processor and produce distributor based in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1989, the family-owned company provides fresh, healthy, ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables across the Midwest. DNO’s FRESHEALTH product line offers individually packaged produce for school nutrition programs, food service operations, retail grab-n-go, and meal kit offerings. Learn more at www.dnoproduce.com.
Expansion Group Photo: DNO Produce leadership and long-serving associates at the construction site for the expanded fresh-cut facility. From left to right: Mark Dabbelt (5 years), Juana Gonzalez (5 years), Procoro “Manny” Mendoza (11 years), Jeremy Taylor (7 years), Tony DiNovo (33 years), Alex DiNovo (33 years), Dave Thomas (11 years), Laura Aguilar (21 years), Brian Ricciardo (5 years), and Rachael Brooks (9 years). DNO employees nearly 200 associates, with the majority from Columbus’ east side. The expanded facility is designed to meet the demand of DNO’s growing fresh-cut produce category and will accommodate a 33% increase in DNO’s production capacity.
Expansion Rendering: This image, provided by the architects for the project, demonstrates the completed facility. The groundbreaking was in early April 2022 and construction began shortly thereafter. The expansion is expected to be complete by August of 2022.