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Updated: January 20, 2020 Deal Watch Today

Hartford’s Sardilli Produce & Dairy Co. buys Windsor complex for $9.5M ahead of relocation

Photo | Hartford-based Sardilli Produce & Dairy Co. is planning to move its headquarters to the former Konica Minolta distribution and training center, 550 Marshall Phelps Road, in Windsor.

Hartford’s Sardilli Produce & Dairy Co. has acquired a roughly 225,000-square-foot industrial complex in Windsor for $9.5 million, signaling its pending move just north of the Capital City, town officials say.

The family owned food distributor, home to Hartford’s South End neighborhood for four decades, last fall quietly purchased the former Konica Minolta distribution and training center at 550 Marshall Phelps Road from West Hartford's The Fremont Group LLC as it looks to significantly expand its operations, town records show.

As previously reported, Sardilli last summer told town officials it planned to invest more than $15 million into the Windsor facility to create a fueling station, refrigerated processing and storage areas, expand existing loading docks and build a vehicle maintenance building. The food hauler also expects to spend $600,000 on improvements to the nearly 30-acre property.

Led by third-generation brothers Devin and Jason Sardilli, the company in early 2019 planned to purchase vacant farmland in East Windsor and build a 202,400-square-foot distribution center there after scoring a number of zoning approvals and a tax abatement from the town. The proposed building was expected to be significantly larger than its existing 22,500-square-foot footprint in Hartford on Locust Street.

Sardilli has also scored a multi-year tax abatement in Windsor.

Windsor’s town council last summer greenlit a four-year abatement for Sardi, which will provide the company with a total tax benefit of more than $340,000, town records show..

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin previously told Hartford Business Journal the city in recent years explored tax incentives and potential sites for Sardilli to expand. However, the city, which also has about double the tax rate as Windsor, lacks enough undeveloped land needed by the company.

It’s not yet clear when Sardilli plans to relocate its operation and more than 100 employees to Windsor. The company has informed town officials that it plans to add at least 50 new jobs, which will include food prep workers, material movers and drivers, in Windsor.

Sardilli has been headquartered on Locust Street in Hartford's South End since 1989.

Founded as Sardilli Fruit Stand in Southington during the 1950s, the business relocated to a larger space at the Hartford Regional Market in 1980 before moving to Locust Street in 1989. 

Sardilli’s fruits, vegetables, dairy and specialty dry goods are currently distributed to restaurants, hospitals, schools and caterers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and a small section of New York.

Mohegan Sun in the Uncasville section of Montville is a big Sardilli customer.

Mohegan and Sardilli said they recently signed a multi-year produce contract after working together for the last eight years. The tribal casino says it’s purchased more than 18,000 cases and over 490,000 pounds of produce from Sardilli over the last three years.

“We certainly had interest in other big players for this contract but based on the well-established relationship, exceptional service and overall great product that Sardilli provides, the choice wasn’t very difficult in the end,” said Mohegan Sun President and General Manager Jeff Hamilton.

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