What’s up with Rhody Fresh?

By Allison Kirk l Herald Contributor

RWU has been getting its butter, heavy cream, half and half, ice cream and milk from RhodyFresh for ten years. It was the second university in Rhode Island to do business with the local company.

Recently, many people were worried about Rhody Fresh closing. But not to fear — they are just changing distributors again.
 
Purchasing manager Andy Costanzo explained that companies like Guida Dairy and Winsor dairy delivered Rhody Fresh products to the school. However, Alan Winsor helped Rhody Fresh in other ways as well.
 
Winsor manages Winsor Dairy farm and helped produce milk for Rhody Fresh. Winsor explained Rhody Fresh has been experiencing some financial trouble, as they were 90 days past due with payment for Winsor Dairy. Winsor couldn’t afford to do business with them anymore and Rhody Fresh turned back to Guida Dairy.
 
Considering Guida Dairy was a larger company, they appealed to Rhody Fresh for distribution. Guida Dairy is actually a company in Connecticut. As a result, some customers are going to Winsor with a desire to stay local to Rhode Island.
 
Winsor said Rhody Fresh owed money to Guida as well and went to his company for help because of the financial problems with Guida. Rhody Fresh actually worked with Guida before going to Winsor.
 
According to Winsor, all the milk at RWU has been coming out of his facility for the last five years. He would bottle it under the Rhody Fresh name and ship it to Rhody Fresh where they distributed it with their own trucks. Additionally, Winsor said he will save the school some costs because with his business there is no third party. Instead, it is buying from the factory directly and helping the local economy.
 
General manager of Bon Appétit, James Gubata, emphasized the desire for Rhode Island local dairy. Currently, Gubata and Costanzo are deciding between Guida and Winsor.
 
“It’s a little tricky getting to the bottom of this stuff. Both of the companies want our business really bad,” Gubata said.
 
Executive Director of Rhody Fresh Alex LaPrise explained that the overall goal of distribution to Guida is to help support the actual dairy farms. 
 
Whichever company uses the most local milk will likely win over the university, but for now the answer is still unknown.