FreshEdge, a family of fresh food distribution companies backed by Wind Point Partners, has acquired Panama Banana, a wholesaler and distributor of fine produce in the Chicago International Produce Market.
 For nearly a century, Panama has built a solid reputation as one of Chicago’s leading distributors of fine produce by serving customers with the same focus: a passion for freshness, quality, and ease of doing business that is second to none. Panama is housed in a state-of-the-art facility that offers ripening rooms, cold coolers, climate-controlled docks, produce packaging and repacking, and logistical support.

“We are thrilled to welcome Todd and Deke Pappas and their team to the FreshEdge family,” said Steve Grinstead, CEO of FreshEdge. “With their same commitment to customer service, Panama will be a great addition to our growing group of customer-obsessed distributors.”

Terms of the deal, which closed on May 21, were not disclosed.

“Our Panama team is thrilled to join FreshEdge,” said Todd Pappas, president of Panama. “This is the next step in increasing our footprint, serving customers with expanded offerings and growing for our future.”

FreshEdge now operates 979,800 square feet of warehouse space across 27 facilities with a fleet of more than 947 trucks and more than 2,000 employees.

FreshEdge is backed by Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm. Panama represents FreshEdge’s second acquisition since Wind Point’s initial investment. Together, Wind Point and FreshEdge intend to continue growing FreshEdge by welcoming more fresh food distribution companies into the group—all focused on high quality produce and specialty food products, along with exceptional service—to create a unique group of complementary entities.

About FreshEdge
FreshEdge was formed in 2019 through the combination of Get Fresh Produce (founded 1982), Indianapolis Fruit (founded 1947) and Piazza Produce (founded 1970). McCartney Produce (Paris, TN) joined FreshEdge in November 2020 followed by Valley Produce (Knoxville, TN) in June 2021, Vine Line (Grand Rapids, MI) in October 2021, Monteverde’s (Pittsburgh, PA) in November 2021, City Produce (Fort Walton Beach, FL) in May 2022 and Testa Produce (Chicago, IL) in May 2023. FreshEdge includes a collection of Garden Cut branded fresh-cut processing facilities (Bartlett, Fort Walton Beach, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh), a tomato re-packer, a USDA fresh kitchen (CIBUS Fresh), and two transportation companies. FreshEdge’s footprint spans twenty-one states throughout the Midwest and southeastern United States. Today, FreshEdge is one of the largest independent fresh food distributors in the United States and a category leader in providing both the foodservice and retail industries with fruit, vegetables, proteins, fresh grab-n-go offerings, dairy, floral, and specialty products.