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Port Manatee gains new produce company

PALMETTO — A new commercial tenant coming to Port Manatee will create 75 jobs for Manatee County residents.

The Manatee County Port Authority on Thursday approved a five-year contract with Fresh Quest Inc., which will import cantaloupe and honeydew melons to Port Manatee from Guatemala and Honduras.

Fresh Quest is expected to begin operations at Port Manatee in November, and the company is projected to generate $1.5 million in revenue for the port over the five-year term.

Fresh Quest will least 55,070 square-feet of refrigerated warehouse space at Port Manatee for $30,839 a year.

Fresh Quest will occupy the warehouse for six months each year, and jobs will be seasonal with the possibility operations could extend to 12 months.