NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)— While many companies are hurting during COVID-19, food packing company Onofrio‘s Ultimate Foods in New Haven increased production to meet the needs of people stocking up on quarantine supplies.
Richard Onofrio told News 8, “We thought that we would be locking the doors in staying home like everyone else, and then we realize that we are in the food chain and we were asked to keep working to try to keep the food chain going. Our business tripled in volume we just can’t keep up.”
Thousands of jars go through a packing line daily. Everything from sauces, salad dressings and salsas are pumped through the nozzles, sealed, labeled and then delivered.
“Whatever is getting stacked onto a pallet will go by the back door ready for pick up today because everything will go out at the end of the day. There’s nothing being stored,” explained Onofrio.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, 14,000 jars went out from their warehouse a day. That number is up to 24,000, winding up on grocery store shelves. “Our products that we make go in Market Basket, Trader Joe’s, Stew Leonards, ShopRite places like that,” said Onofrio.
Nothing is stored overnight, at least not anymore. The demand is too high. Onofrio told News 8,“We have a large warehouse; it’s about 20,000 square feet. It’s usually filled with product; it’s empty now.”
Onofrio says trying to replenish the supply at grocery stores calls for long hours: “We are working about 14 hours a day, 5 days a week, and trying to for fill as many orders as we can.”