Located in America’s heartland, there’s a state whose history is filled with cattle, land-runs, Native Americans, cowboys, farming, and oil. Rich with the legacy and spirit of pioneering and adventure, it is a hidden jewel right at the junction of the Midwest, South, and Southwest.
Oklahoma City, also known to locals as the 405, is home of the Fresh Avenue operations team with their office located near up-and-coming restaurant brands, a great food scene, people out walking their dog, and runners training for the annual Memorial Marathon. In the 5-10-mile range of the office is the various districts in the city that have embraced a unique history and incubate many growing communities.
You’re thinking, why is a national-level produce company based in the middle of oil and cattle country? It is the old train routes that carried cattle created the convergence of major interstates through the heart of Oklahoma City that link us to all corners of the US. Not only are we at the crossroads of major interstates and shipping routes, but only a flight away from our various growing areas and coolers.
This is actually not anything new as our managing partner, Mark Vaughan, ran a fresh food operation in the Oklahoma City area for decades, utilizing this strategic location, but also adapting a hybrid model of local and remote workers. You still see this placement of our team in the growing regions, the operational hub in Oklahoma, and team members strategically placed in major markets for our customers.
Our central operational hub also shows how far communication technology has taken us with instant access by calling, emailing, or communicating with the ever-so-popular zoom meeting! However technology only goes so far and so having team that is responsive is also critical to a high level of customer service.
This location and model is indicative of Fresh Avenue’s progressive thinking, always looking for the next innovation that will better serve a customer’s need or solve a problem in the market place. It may not be apparent why a produce company would have a logistics hub in the middle of the country, but the reality is we’ve been successful with this location for decades.
Oklahoma City is a growing and thriving city and the affordable cost of living makes life comfortable for our team members. But in the end, this is home for many of us and we have the best of both worlds…. working in the heartland, and working out of the West coast growing regions with fresh produce. And our unique contribution to the industry? The adventurous and pioneering spirit that is characteristic of Oklahoma.
So who exactly is working at the Oklahoma City office?
Sarah – Key Account/Operational Support Manager
Sarah is the newest member of the Fresh Avenue team and brings a lifetime of knowledge and exposure to produce. She was born and raised in Salinas, growing up with her father in the industry. Sarah attended college at Sonoma State University. During that time, she also maintained an internship at Mann Packing for 3 years, gaining a knowledge and understanding of the industry as a whole, from growing, shipping, to quality assurance and R&D, to sales and marketing. Post-grad, she worked in sales for two years at GreenGate Fresh, providing her with a solid background in the pulse of the business, serving customers and solving daily challenges. In early 2020, Sarah decided to move half-way across the US to join the Fresh Avenue team to continue her rising career in produce. We are very excited for her to take on a bold new adventure in her life with our team in Oklahoma City.
Tyler – Project Manager: Process Improvement
Tyler grew up in the fresh food industry and spent his early career helping his dad, Mark Vaughan, with various tasks at Vaughan Foods and in the summers would go to Salinas and work in the fields. For a few years he took a break from fresh foods and produce to study and acquire his accounting degree at the University of Oklahoma, gaining insight and experience from other industries. He has now joined the Fresh Avenue team to look for efficiencies in our operations so that we all work better, faster, safer, and cheaper because these efficiencies result in faster and better service for our customers.
Justin – Sales and Operations Manager
Justin is the coffee aficionado of the team. Prior to working with Brian Rooney in fresh cut foods, he worked as a sales rep for a national coffee brand. He grew up in the Dallas area with family nearby, but moved to Oklahoma for work and new adventures. With Fresh Avenue, he works in sales and support for our various logistics programs and has an energy to keep up with the demand and fast pace that serves our customer well.
Mark – Managing Partner
Mark has over 30 years of owning and operating a fresh food business in Oklahoma, participates in the Industry Advisory Committee with Oklahoma State University’s Food and Agricultural Product Center, and actively serves the local community through public service and volunteer work with a large non-profit.
Brian – Director of Operations and Supply Chain
Brian worked with Mark for most of his career and has decades of supply chain and operational knowledge. He has spearheaded our consolidation and managed freight programs, works throughout the industry with growers creating connection between supply and our customers.
Amber – Marketing Director
Amber has been with Fresh Avenue from the beginning working to build the brand and media that tells the story of our growers, helps our customers understand key aspects of the industry, and gives everyone a peek at the good people and fun culture of the Fresh Avenue team.
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Learn more about our logistics program with our Consolidation Keeps it Simple infographic. Don’t forget to share with a friend!