Mellano and Company was one of the first flower growers in the US to integrate a strict cold-chain program into our everyday operations. In 1976, co-owner Mike Mellano Sr. realized the importance of integrating cold chain on the farm and installed one of the first pre-coolers in the California floral industry! Our original pre-cooling area still stands right between our cooler and loading dock, making sure every box is kept safely at the proper temperature.
The key to a successful cold chain management program is efficiency. At Mellano and Company, we’ve studied the most efficient ways to extend the vase life of our products and the number one thing is keeping every precious stem at just the right temperature. Cold chain starts out in the field: stems are harvested and immediately put in water under shade cover and hustled into the coolers.
No loitering for our flowers! No waiting outside the cooler, or on the trucks in the field for hours. In the field the guys have a mantra- “Ten & Ten in Water… Ten & Ten in Water…”That means every ten stems picked are quickly bunched and every ten bunches quickly put into water. The result is that our products go from field to the cooler and to the end user in a very short time frame with no premature blooming or condensation.
Grading and bunching is done in our “cold room” to prevent premature opening of blooms and to ensure the longest vase life for all of our products. Box shipments are also packed in our chilled area and brought to the pre-cooler to keep the air inside the boxes at the optimal temperature for their journey from the farm to our refrigerated trucks. Bucket shipments are wheeled directly from the cooler into the backs of our trucks. Cold Chain management is just one of the extra steps Mellano and Company makes every day to ensure the freshest, happiest flowers and foliage in the business!