Manuel R. Costa

President & CEO, Costa Fruit & Produce

It is well-known that Manny, his famous mom, Dame Ana Costa and late father, Manuel Costa Sr. have for many years dedicated themselves to the advancement of the local hospitality industry through their sponsorship and scholarship contributions for such associations as the MRA, the ACF/Epicurean Club of Boston, the Bannino Foundation, The Spinnazola foundation, both Les Dames and Les Amis d’Escoffier among many others. Costa is also a major contributor to the Boston Food Bank and in the past year has donated over 20,000 dollars of food products to the bank in a continuing effort to end hunger in our city.

And while helping to send countless aspiring chefs to culinary institutions, Manny’s first and foremost contribution to the hospitality industry has been his dedicated efforts to improve and advance the education, standards and professionalism of the industry he and his family have been so successful in – the produce industry.

Somehow while advancing the sales of his company from 2 million to 100 million over the past 25 years, Manny has found time to become a produce industry spokesman, author and educator to the foodservice and hospitality communities. He has been involved regionally, nationally and internationally in such organizations as the Produce Marketing Association, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, the National Association of College and University Foodservice, the Society for Foodservice Management and recently conducted a workshop for the NRA’s National Association of Purchasing Managers. He has been Chairman of the Board of two national associations and in both cases lead both organizations to make food safety its highest priority – the International Fresh-cut Produce Association where he spear-headed an effort with the USDA to establish safe handling guidelines for fresh-cut produce and PRO*ACT, the national sales and marketing cooperative he founded where he instituted third party auditing of food safety and sanitation practices as a central requirement to admission to the group he founded.

The recipient of numerous local recognition for his tireless dedication to the advancement of the culinary arts through scholarships and foundations, Manny has also been inducted into the National Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame as well as receiving national recognition awards for his achievements in fresh produce processing, salad bar management and recently was elected to the Board of Directors of the Produce Marketing Association where he is dedicating his time on the education committee in the development of operator tools for the safe handling and usage of fresh produce.

  • Graduate of Boston University, Bachelor of the Arts, English
  • Since 1977, President and CEO of Costa Fruit & Produce of Boston, MA, and its fresh manufacturing companies; Fresh Ideas, Inc. and Sensational Salads.
  • Costa Fruit & Produce tops the list of Northeast produce companies with sales of 100 million and services over 3000 foodservice and hospitality locations
  • The founder and former Chairman of the board of PRO*ACT, a sales and marketing cooperative of 45 produce distributors across the country servicing over 50,000 foodservice and hospitality locations and two billion dollar in annual foodservice and hospitality sales.
  • Former Chairman of the Board of the International Fresh Produce Processors Association (IFPA) – the peak industry association dedicated to the advancement of the fresh-cut produce industry.
  • In 2000, recipient of the national publication, ID Magazine’s Innovator of the Year
  • Past recipient of the Vendor of the Year award from the Epicurean Club of Boston
  • In 2000, inducted into the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Hall of Fame
  • Recipient of the national publication, The Packer’s Food Service Achievement Award
  • In 2005, named Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA) Purveyor Executive of the Year
  • Frequent contributing author and guest speaker to local, national and international associations promoting food safety and operator education. This includes invitations to speak on behalf of the NRA, the National Association of College and University Foodservice (NACUFS), The Society for Foodservice Management (SFM), the National Association of Purchasing Managers (NAPM), USDA, IFPA and the PMA.
  • Served on the Board of the Directors of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
  • Currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mass Restaurant Association (MRA)
  • Corporate donors to the Boston Food Bank amongst many other local charities
  • Member of the Les Amis d’Escoffier, a Chevalier in Le chaine de la Rotissuers and The Epicurean Club of Boston.

Board member: Robert E. Cumings