ere are answers to our most frequently asked questions:
Q: What is PRO*ACT and what is the significance of Ole Tyme Produce's membership in this national network of local produce distributors?
A: PRO*ACT is a network of 50 locally owned companies that have joined together to purchase and market perishable products. PRO*ACT stands for Produce Regional Operators Acting Cooperatively in Trade. These companies, operating 71 distribution centers across the United States and Canada, covering some 2.6 million square miles are the finest purveyors of fresh produce and dairy in each of their respective markets. Together they lead the industry in purchasing for national and local customers purchasing over 52 million cases annually with over $2.9 billion in sales. The PRO*ACT network collectively has over 3.5 million square feet of warehouse space and utilize over 1950 refrigerated trucks to make 1000s of deliveries daily. Together we have more than 7200 employees including 111 food safety personnel and 210 sales people in the field. Ole Tyme Produce's membership in this national network brings together partners that share best practices, leverages purchasing power, sets superior standards for food safety and security and cumulates in bringing national value to regional and local hospitality partners.
Q: Does Ole Tyme Produce source from local growers and/or growers using sustainable agricultural practices?
A: Ole Tyme Produce has developed a solid locally grown program with a variety of superior growers within seven hours of St. Louis over the past decade. With humble beginnings that started with a single meeting of chefs, farmers, Ole Tyme and agricultural education personnel nearly 10 years ago, the program has burgeoned. Today we sell nearly 50 locally grown products. These farmers have lovingly cultivated, grown, and harvested their products at peak ripeness for a bounty of flavor that can only be achieved when product is local on lands that have been in their families often for generations. Please see the local calendar and the farmer bios on our website. Many of our national farmer partners have adopted a sustainable platform and utilize many green practices. We will be rolling out a program later this year that fully develops our commitment to sustainable practices throughout the value supply chain.
Q: What is your minimum order?
A: There is not a predetermined minimum order size. Each customer needs are evaluated individually and mutually agreeable delivery number and size will be jointly reached.
Q: What are your delivery days?
A: Cities within Primary Market area receive deliveries six days per week. Areas within the Secondary Market receive deliveries three to six days per week depending on volume.
Q: How can I place an order for delivery?
A: Live customer service is available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. After hours, orders can be placed by calling the main number 314-436-5010 and leaving a message. Orders can be entered on-line via our website. Customers will need to call and establish an on-line account and password first. We also accept faxed orders but urge a follow-up phone call to the main number. For next day delivery we request receipt of the order by 10:00 p.m.
Q: What are your terms?
A: Because we are locally owned and operated, decisions are made in our office, not across the country. Each customer is evaluated individually according to our credit application and we work with you to help you operate effectively.
Q: What other products do you carry other than fresh produce?
A: Our line of products included fresh and cultured dairy, butter, fresh juices— orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime — fresh eggs and cage-free eggs, cheese, Joseph’s Gourmet pasta, and unique pantry items.
Q: Do you service only restaurants?
A: Ole Tyme’s diverse customer base includes casinos, hospitals, schools and institutions, hotels, caterers, country clubs, national casual dining concepts, regional restaurants and independent restaurants.
Q: My restaurant offers certain products that are not carried by most vendors in the area, can you help?
A: Yes, we have been able to provide products from all over the country, quickly, for very diverse menus. Visit our Products section, if you don't see something you need, or packaged in the way that you need it, send us an email and we will make special arrangements with you.
Q: What steps has Ole Tyme Produce taken to ensure produce and perishable products food safety beyond the annual third party audits?
A: During Dec of 2011, Ole Tyme Produce began electronic receiving of all products. In a series of stages, during spring and summer of 2012, Ole Tyme began electronic picking and loading of all products shipped to customers. This process was completed in August of 2012. This warehouse management system (WMS) is one of the most important steps in our commitment to be compliant with the 2010 Food Safety and Modernization Act, the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), and the GSI Foodservice Initiative for Produce. All split cases and full cases are being accounted for electronically so that in the event of food safety alerts and recalls we can quickly track the cases and contact customers who received the product.
Q: How can I be alerted about food safety recalls and advisories?
A: Follow us on Twitter. We will be twitting out food safety alerts. There will be a link provided to follow for additional information on the recall or advisory. If a customer is directly affected by the recall, Ole Tyme’s Recall Team will be directly contacting each customer to follow up with delivery dates, quantity of product purchased, and instructions about next steps.
Q: How can I receive product updates, weather alerts, and/or local produce in stock?
A: Send customer service your email address for weekly newsletters. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. This information is sent out weekly and is updated on the website.