"We have done everything we possibly could to survive these latest challenges, just as our family has done for four generations," said Patricia LoPresti, chief executive officer and president, in a newswire release. "Regrettably, we concluded today that we can no longer remain in business. With our lower volume and inability to collect some major receivables, we no longer have the cash necessary to keep operating."
A. LoPresti & Sons has 72 employees and has operated out of a 180,000-square-foot warehouse in Cleveland, less than a mile from where founder Augustino LoPresti started selling fruits and vegetables from a red pushcart in 1908. While produce has always been the company's specialty, its product line has expanded over the years to include dairy, groceries, frozen foods, fresh meat, poultry and paper and cleaning supplies. Local farmers and other local suppliers have represented about one-fourth of the total product offering.
"Unfortunately, many of our customers and suppliers in the foodservice industry are under the same kind of severe economic pressures that we have been," said LoPresti, in a FOX Business report. "Sales volumes are down, credit terms are being tightened, payments are falling farther behind and financing options have all but evaporated. We greatly appreciate the support and tremendous cooperation of all those who have worked diligently with us over the past few months to find innovative solutions to these new market realities -- including our employees, union, vendors, landlord and lender. But in the end these efforts were unsuccessful, and we have become another victim of the economic storm."
LoPresti said the company's financial situation has become most critical since mid-September of last year, when the nationwide credit crunch became severe and demand plummeted. Although the company has maintained its market share since then, annualized business volume has decreased 25 percent from the previous year and two major customers have gone out of business, resulting in more than $500,000 in uncollectible receivables.
The distributor was a member of both the UniPro Foodservice and Pro*Act buying and marketing groups.