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Don Greene, Florida poultry redistributor, 87

OPA-LOCKA, FL - Donald Greene, founder of Don Green Poultry, Inc., here, passed away Sunday, May. 2. He was 87 years old.

Born in The Bronx, NY, on Jan. 1, 1917, Greene came to Florida in the 1950s and set out to build a foodservice distribution business. Greene first established Don Greene Provisions, Inc., a provisions delivery operation serving local restaurants. He owned a small truck, bought provisions from local distributors and packers, and delivered these provisions to the restaurants. When the business began to grow, the company rented refrigerated storage space and began to maintain an inventory of the faster selling items.

In 1966, the company purchased a new facility to increase inventory and expand its marketing base and accelerated its growth. Fresh poultry was now the main product of the company. As the demand for poultry increased and the company added new products, once again it outgrew its facility.

During the 1970s, as fresh and frozen poultry were the dominant products in the company's sales, the name was changed to Don Greene Poultry, Inc., a member of Frost Acres Brands, Inc., Alpharetta, GA Expansion continued in the frozen food product category as the company operated from a cold storage facility.

In 1983, the company built a new facility in Opa-Locka. The 45,000-sq.-ft. facility enabled the company to continue its growth in both fresh and frozen poultry and refrigerated and frozen foods. In 1985, the company began servicing the cruise line industry and continued the expansion of frozen food sales.

The company chose in 1987 to restrict its restaurant sales to poultry products in order to become a redistributor of frozen and refrigerated products selling primarily to distributors in South Florida and the Caribbean Basin. A year later, a 25,000-sq.-ft. addition to its facility enabled the expansion of redistribution into central and north Florida. In 1989, the company leased dry warehouse space and began to market dry goods for redistribution.

Stephen M. Greene, the son, now is the sole owner of Don Greene Poultry, Inc. The company's current customer base consists of retail markets, fast food poultry restaurants, domestic distributors, export distributors and overseas distributors.

In addition to being a businessman, Greene was an active volunteer at Baptist Hospital in Miami. He was a long time member of the Roosevelt Lodge KoP No.177.

Greene is survived by his loving wife Janet of 64 years, his children Stephen, Arnold and Barry, his daughters-in-law Shirley and Lexy, his brother Sheldon, and his grandchildren Jeffrey, Michelle, Bonnie (Wayne), Michael, Melanie and Lisa.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in his memory be made to the American Cancer Society or the National Kidney Foundation of Florida.

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