PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Fred Meyer Inc. has expanded its banana-ripening capacity by nearly half by adding 10 ripening rooms at a newly opened distribution center here.
irm that developed the ripening rooms for the chain.
The new distribution center was designed to complement Portland, Ore.-based Fred Meyer's main distribution facility in Clackamas, Ore., said sources at the company. The new facility, which is now fully operational, supplies Fred Meyer stores in the Puget Sound area and Alaska.
With the addition of ripening rooms at the Clackamas facility, Fred Meyer has a combined ripening capacity of 750 pallets to serve its 80 stores in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and California, said Thermal Tech officials.
The banana rooms at the Puyallup facility were customized to fit inside a small amount of floor space, with a design that allows a 24-pallet capacity in less space than ordinary 20-pallet rooms, according to Shannon Rutherford, a spokesman for Thermal Tech.
The rooms also have dual temperature zones and are built to "seismic three" standards.
"What we really like about the rooms is the ease of operation, and the security of knowing what we're going to get when we unload the rooms," said Jim Venters, maintenance manager for the new facility.