Passport Food Group announced the hiring of Jeffrey Taveres and Jim Debiase, two experienced sales executives.

Tavares joined Passport Food Group as the Asian market account manager, and will be responsible for supporting the Asian foodservice and retail customers in California, Arizona, and Nevada. He was most recently with the Asian sauce and ingredients company Lee Kum Kee.

Debiase joined the company as the Southern California territory sales manager, and will be responsible for supporting all non‐Asian foodservice accounts in Southern California.

He comes to Passport with more than 10 years of experience selling in the foodservice industry and was most recently with U.S. Foods, where he spent the past three years as a territory manager.

“Adding Jeffrey and Jim to our team is part of a larger strategy to connect more closely with our customers in all market segments, and reinforce our position as a leading supplier of Southeast Asian foods to the foodservice industry,” says Patrick McBride, vice president of sales and marketing for Passport Food Group.

The company also announced it has officially opened its new 106,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Ontario, California. This facility will also serve as its new corporate headquarters.

The facility was designed to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, including certified Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) programs.

Management expects the facility will be certified to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standard under SQF Level II before the end of 2013.

“It was our goal with this new facility to set a much higher standard of food safety and automation, as well as significantly increase our capacity, so we can continue to serve and grow with our national and international customer base,” says Dave Abrams, CEO of Passport Food Group.

“I can confidently say we achieved our goal,” he adds. “This new facility allows us to expand into new products desired by our customers, and is the next step towards our goal of becoming the leading supplier of Southeast Asian foods to the global foodservice industry, including restaurants, hospitality, education, and health-care end markets.”

Food Safety, News