When Christos Marafatsos ’09 and longtime friend Kosta Dionisopoulos started Delta Produce in 2009, they never dreamed that only two years later their business would be featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek as part of an entrepreneurial contest.
Marafatsos and Dionisopoulos were one of 25 young entrepreneurs or entrepreneur teams nominated to win the award of “The Best Young Entrepreneurs of 2011,” which is awarded to a promising start-up business with founders under the age of 25. The duo, both 24-years-old, took third place in the readers’ choice competition.
Delta Produce is a fresh produce delivery company servicing Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. They have about 150 clients, including government facilities, restaurants, hotels and hospitals. They even deliver fresh produce to the White House.
With revenue in 2010 of over $1.9 million and projected revenue in 2011 of $2.6 million, Delta Produce continues to not only threaten all competition, but prospers as a dominant figure in an industry where its products – perishable commodities – are always needed, no matter the economic climate.
Delta Produce was a finalist in the annual Cupid’s Cup: The University of Maryland Business Competition last year, hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Cupid’s Cup is sponsored by alumnus Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Baltimore-based sports apparel maker Under Armour.
What was the inspiration to start Delta Produce?
“Do you eat? Exactly, of course you do, everyone does,” says Marafatsos. “Eating is not a luxury but is a necessity to our existence and my products will always be needed and used no matter the economic climate.”
“In any economy, people will always eat,” adds Dionisopoulous.