Mattapoisett business makes food easier to prepare
MATTAPOISETT — Tucked back in the Industrial Park, Southcoast Farms doesn’t actually grow food, but it does work to get it into a more edible form.
The business, which is part of Sid Wainer & Sons food distribution company, opened in 2015.
Workers at the plant process vegetables in more than 200 different ways. Butternut squash, for example, are cut into pappardelle, tomatoes diced and cabbage shredded.
Sid Wainer had been outsourcing that work to suppliers, but four years ago decided to take over the production aspect themselves.
The President at Southcoast Farms, Allie Wainer, said that processed fruits and vegetables have become more popular as more people enter the workforce and are looking for a faster way to cook after working all day.
Sid Wainer and Sons picked the Mattapoisett location because they wanted to be close to the New Bedford distribution facility.
“It was really just the shell of the building that we bought,” Wainer said, explaining that for everything else, the company had to fabricate what they needed.
Southcoast Farms takes its commitment to cleanliness seriously. All materials are processed when they first arrive to remove the original packaging they came in, which might be dirty. Each morning begins with an inspection, and workers cannot start processing food until that inspection is complete.
The company also takes allergens seriously, and keeps allergens like nuts away from other products.
The plant employs 40 to 50 people from across the Southcoast, and tries to use local produce when it is in season.
Wainer likened the Mattapoisett operation to a baby compared to the 105 year history of its parent company. But over its time in business, the plant has grown, and has plans to further diversify by adding more produce to process in the future.
The company also hopes to expand into something that Wainer calls “co-packing,” or packaging processed foods in their final branded packaging. They already do this on a limited basis for distillers.