The produce may be “ugly,” but Misfits Market’s new warehouse is proving to be perfect when it comes to keeping its subscription-based delivery service top shelf—giving customers the opportunity to build out grocery boxes of misshapen but perfectly good quality organic produce and sustainably sourced pantry staples for up to 40% off standard grocery store prices.
Recognizing the need for expansion to its burgeoning business (even before the pandemic, which has increased further the desire for grocery delivery), Misfits Market (originally located in Pennsauken, New Jersey) secured the funds to build a new cold storage warehouse with a large open cold process in their packing area in Delanco, New Jersey, essentially doubling its order capacity throughout the East Coast, and providing the opportunity to bring the service to more Southern and Midwestern markets.
To ensure freezer and refrigerator temperatures remained up to par, Vineland, New Jersey-based general contractor Stanker & Galetto, along with metal panel subcontractor and installer on the project, Rufus Brubaker Refrigeration, selected CF Mesa insulated panels from Metl-Span for the facility.
CF Mesa panels are an ideal—and common—exterior and interior solution, in fact, for cold storage applications including cooler buildings, freezers, food processing buildings, dry goods warehouses, and any all-controlled environment building where temperature control and insulation values are key to functionality. The lightly corrugated profile on both faces creates symmetry on the outside of the building and room to room within, and the minor rib provides a flattened appearance. Additionally, these panels feature easy and fast installation, equating to reduced construction labor costs, as well as easy-to-clean surfaces.
The substantial new construction/greenfield project used approximately 200,000 sq. ft. of 4-inch- thick and 5-inch-thick Metl-Span CF Mesa 42-in. wall panels. The project team relied on a Sandstone color for the exterior building envelope, as the building owners were looking to achieve a beige-colored aesthetic. Metl-Span’s standard interior color, Igloo White, in the meantime, presents a clean, basic design—perfect for the interior wall partitions for cold storage facilities such as this.
Doug Horton, project estimator from refrigeration specialist Rufus Brubaker, notes of the color choices, “When you design a cold storage building, you want to stay within a certain color range. Dark colors, of course, are really not a good idea. With the ‘beige’ directive, Sandstone would be one of the darkest colors we’d use on a cold storage building.”
He further shares that although the popular CF Mesa insulated metal panels were an obvious choice for this type of temperature-sensitive project, they chose Metl-Span in particular due to its reputation for great quality and service throughout the South Jersey area and beyond. “When it comes down to it, Metl-Span is all about customer service. We have a good, ongoing relationship with them. Their plants are well located so we get our deliveries in a better time frame. They’re always good to work with, from their reps to their support staff.”
Metl-Span sales representative, Mike Rauch, explains that when dealing with cold storage, the thickness and performance of the panels are dictated by the temperature within the building. “In this case,” he says, “there were freezers and coolers; in the freezer, the exterior and interior wall panels were five inches, and the 37-degree cooler and 45-degree repack areas were each 4 inches thick.”
To ensure proper performance, Metl-Span conducted a connection analysis for the customer in order to make sure that thermal bow wouldn’t come into play, a typical challenge with very high buildings. Rauch says, “During the design and bidding phases, we performed a panel attachment analysis to make sure that thermal bow, which can affect these projects heavily, wouldn’t come into play, by providing the proper structure behind the panel.”
As to performance, Metl-Span CF Mesa wall panels utilize a factory foamed-in-place polyurethane core paired with impermeable steel exterior and interior faces, which ensure the highest insulating values throughout the building’s lifecycle. The product’s unique foam core allows the R-value insulation performance to increase as the core temperature of the panel decreases, a feature attributed to the blowing agent used in the production of Metl-Span CF IMPs.
The project started on March 11, 2020 and substantial completion was done on Aug. 31, 2020. Misfits Market, which is now the leading organic direct-to-consumer food subscription and the nation’s fastest-growing grocery delivery service, soon after celebrated the opening of the new state-of-the-art facility in October 2020, thanks in large part to Metl-Span’s ability to deliver its panels on time, and the project team’s determination to get it done, despite pandemic conditions and potential delays.
To quote Chris Nelson, Chief Operating Officer at Misfits Market from an interview in the Philly Inquirer, “The increased capacity and operations sophistication on-site allows us to further expand our product offerings, release new product features, and continue to rescue tens of millions of pounds of produce annually.” That’s a win not only for Misfits Market and its expanding team but also for customers across the country.