Henry Avocado Corp. has expanded its cold storage distribution center in Charlotte, N.C. through collaboration with design-build firm A M King.

The project allows Henry Avocado Corp. to extend its operations on the East Coast, continuing to provide custom-ripened avocados to restaurants, food distributors and grocery stores.

Based in Escondido, Calif., the company is a year-round marketer and distributor of fresh, conventional and organic avocados sourced from California, Mexico, Peru and Chile. The original Henry farm in San Diego County has been in continuous avocado production since 1925. Through the years, the company pioneered custom ripening of avocados, planted and promoted the Hass variety and introduced certified organic avocados to the product line.

In 2017, A M King finished conversion of an existing leased warehouse space in Charlotte into a cold storage distribution center for Henry Avocado Corp. The building includes a mix of forced air rooms, cooler storage space for produce, loading docks and a mechanical equipment room. It was designed with a refrigeration system that allowed for future expansion.

“We are excited to build on the success Henry Avocado Corp. has achieved in this first-class Charlotte distribution center,” says JD Boone, A M King business unit leader. “There was a high level of coordination needed to understand and properly implement the client’s custom ripening process.”

All of Henry Avocado’s distribution centers are Primus GFSI- certified and meet or exceed federal, state and industry Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines. Two are located in Escondido, Calif.; two in San Antonio and Houston, Texas; and one each in Phoenix, Ariz., Milpitas, Calif. and Charlotte, N.C. All seven have Oxyion air purification systems to reduce bacteria, viruses and mold. A M King’s design for controlled personnel and material flow also contributes to superior sanitation.

“Now with the expansion, Henry Avocado will have the capacity to supply more customers with the freshest custom-ripened avocados in the Mid-Atlantic region,” says Ozzie Figueroa, Henry Avocado marketing and customer service director. 

The scope of work on the Charlotte facility expansion consisted of adding 11 ripening rooms and one cooler. The facility was designed so that the temperature in each forced air room can be independently controlled, which allows for a high degree of flexibility. Now there are 20 ripening rooms capable of custom-ripening 30,000 cartons for shipment each week. The total capability of the facility is more than 1.5 million cartons of organic and conventional avocados per year.

A M King is an integrated design-build firm based in Charlotte, N.C. with offices in Greenville, S.C. and Chicago, Ill. An employee-owned company, A M King provides property consulting, design, construction and facility services in market sectors including food processing, food distribution, industrial manufacturing and corporate properties.