The owners of well-known, Arkansas-based refrigerated transporter Doug’s Produce recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for their latest venture, Compass Cold Storage, which is building a 2.8 million-cubic-foot facility in Mulberry.
The celebration was attended by nearly 200 community members, including state dignitaries, the company said. Ti Cold of Melbourne, Fla., designed and developed the facility, which reportedly will cost $24 million and be operational next year.
“On behalf of the Doug’s Produce trucking family, we feel truly blessed and humbled that our vision for our new sister company, Compass Cold Storage, is a reality,” said co-owner Doug Bowen. “We believe this expansion into industrial cold storage services will provide a valuable resource to not only our new and existing customers of Doug’s Produce Trucking, but to our community as a whole.”
Compass Cold says the facility, located near Fort Smith, will be an economic driver for the state, providing the capacity to support food wholesalers, retailers, and food manufacturing customers in central and northwest Arkansas. It will feature “cutting-edge” design and include “the latest refrigeration and freezer technology.”
“Construction is expected to be completed by early Q2 2023,” said Logan Stuller of Ti Cold. “And the facility is master-planned, with further expansion opportunities in mind. This will ensure that Compass Cold Storage will be ready to scale in support of future cold capacity demands.”
Bowen and co-owner Darren Winstead spoke during the ceremony. Their efforts were recognized by Matt Twyford, director of community development at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission; Shelly Faught, executive director of Alma Area Chamber of Commerce; Julie Murray, president and CEO of Van Buren Chamber of Commerce; Mulberry Mayor Gary Baxter; Arkansas Rep. Charlene Fite; and representatives from the offices of Sen. John Boozman, Sen. Tom Cotton, and Congressman Steve Womack.
The owners of Compass have transported perishable products in the region for more than 20 years, building relationships with nationwide food processors, manufacturers, and wholesalers along the way. With the new public refrigerated warehouse, they’ll begin to offer third-party logistics services to clients, with the ability to pick, pack, and ship their products directly from the facility for quicker, more efficient order fulfillment.