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Gold Coast is big on product customization for foodservice trade
In addition to its standard foodservice packs, Gold Coast Packing Inc. in Santa Maria, CA, does “a tremendous amount of customization for the foodservice trade,” according to Brent Scattini, vice president of sales. “We are packing things specifically for restaurant needs and coming up with different pack sizes, different specs and different formulations” that may be needed by a national restaurant chain or a regional processor, wholesaler or distributor, he said.... Read more
Bland Farms sweet potatoes join Vidalia Brands lineup  along with new value-added sweet onion products
Delbert Bland is an onions and potatoes kind of guy; wife and business partner Sandra Bland is the dreamer of the two, thinking of new ways to put what her husband grows and markets to use. And while Bland Farms LLC of Glennville, GA, has become a famous name in the onion world, its subsidiary Vidalia Brands is shaking things up on the value-added and processed side, with a lineup including condiments, dressings, dips, toppings, frozen items, potato chips and snack... Read more
Giorgio to showcase foodservice pack of stuffed Baby Bellas at PMA Fresh Summit
“We will be featuring our entire line of fresh mushrooms at the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, on July 25-27,” said Bill Litvin, senior vice president of sales for Giorgio Fresh, headquartered in Blandon, PA. “Greg Sagan Sr., vice president of sales, will be joining me at Booth No. 18 to meet and greet customers and prospective customers.” Litvin said the company will be showcasing Giorgio Fresh’s foodservice pack of stuffed Baby Bella mushrooms... Read more
Jim DiMenna, president of Red Sun Farms, formerly JemD Farms, headquartered in Kingsville, Ontario, will be exhibiting at the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, on July 25-27 at Booth No. 1. Jim Cathey, sales and sourcing manager for the company, will be attending to represent the company. “We’ll be featuring our specialty produce in a foodservice-friendly format along with menu development assistance,” said DiMenna. “We’ll also be discussing... Read more
Movement steady in Aspen’s 12-month potato program
CENTER, CO — “We’re taking care of our customers’ needs,” co-owner and sales agent Dwayne Weyers said recently of Aspen Produce’s year-round potato program. Weyers said the operation provides all consumer packs as well as Kwik Lok closures that have trace-back information printed directly on the Loks. The closures also feature a food-safety precaution note to wash and cook the potatoes, which are Colorado’s highest-acreage vegetable crop, thoroughly before consuming. He... Read more
Increased emphasis on fingerlings,  specialty onions at Strohauer Farms
LASALLE, CO — Growing demand for specialty items has prompted northern Colorado grower-shipper Harry Strohauer to ramp up emphasis on his fingerling potato crop and specialty onion packaging this season. Strohauer said the fingerlings, as well as russets and Yukons, are being offered both as conventional and organic. “Our potato category includes conventional and organic russets, Yukons, Banana Fingerlings, Rose Finn/Ruby Crescent Fingerlings, French Fingerlings... Read more
David J. Elliot moves into organic pear production
David J. Elliot & Sons Co. has moved into organic pear production this season. The company is located in Courtland, CA, and has been growing and marketing pears for six generations. Sales Manager David Thiessen said, “[Organic] volume will be relatively light this year.” The company continues to grow Bartlett, Golden Bosc, Comice, Forelle, French Butter, Seckel and red varieties. “The weather has been very good for growing pears — warm days with very little... Read more
Tanimura & Antle crop expert deals with many factors
In college they call it “crop science” because there are many measureable and technical factors involved in producing a crop, but when your job involves taking that product from field to fork, it is also an art. Mark Adamek is harvest director of romaine and mixed leaf for Salinas, CA-based Tanimura & Antle, one of the premier vegetable grower-shippers in the country. “They call us harvest managers,” said Adamek, “but each of us are involved in much more than... Read more
With its “Foxy” brand of fresh produce, The Nunes Co. in Salinas, CA, has embarked on an ambitious and long range effort to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. “We are taking a long-term view of what we can do at store level to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” said Matt Seeley, Nunes’ vice president of marketing. “In our industry we should all be looking for ways to increase sales and consumption and I don’t think there is a better... Read more
David Arena: New Jersey peaches are running a little late this year
The unusually severe and cold winter of 2013-14 set back the timing of many crops throughout a number of areas in the eastern United States, including New Jersey. Most vegetables in the state started a week or two later than usual this spring, and it looks like peaches will see a late start as well. “We’re definitely on the later side of what we traditionally would be seeing,” David Arena, president of Frank Donio Inc. in Hammonton, NJ, told The Produce News June... Read more
New products, good service fuel sales for Church Bros.
Creating customized blends that focus on flavor is fueling unprecedented sales growth for Salinas, CA-based Church Bros. LLC. “We just looked at our weekly numbers and we are breaking records in every category,” said Ernst Van Eeghen, vice president of marketing and product development for the long time Salinas Valley grower-shipper. Church Bros. has made a concerted effort to customize its salad blends for its customers while focusing on improving the flavor... Read more
Concord Foods operates in fresh and manufactured-food realms
BROCKTON, MA — For Concord Foods Inc., a discussion on market positioning is an interesting mix of produce marketing combined with consumer products marketing.   For example, a new kale and apple smoothie mix will be coming from the marketing office, test kitchen and production line of this suburban-Boston food manufacturer. Peter Neville, company president and chief executive officer, with Samantha McCaul, marketing manager, and Charles Olins, vice president... Read more
Coosemans LA + Shipping prides itself on employee longevity
Dale Firman, managing partner of Coosemans LA Shipping, a fixture on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market since 1982, doesn’t have an exact formula for successfully retaining employees, but he and his partner, Alan Pollack, have certainly created a work environment where employees grow and thrive. “Word gets out where the opportunities exist,” he commented. “Because of our reputation as innovators and as fair and creative business people, a lot of highly... Read more
Professional Produce adds organics, completes food-safety initiative
Professional Produce, located in the Los Angeles suburb of Vernon, CA, recently hired John McCormick, and is planning on handling organics, in addition to conventional produce, said President Ted Kaplan in an interview with The Produce News. The organic program, which the company was “just starting,” will include citrus and “a few other items,” Kaplan added. Prior to joining Professional Produce, McCormick worked for Muranaka Farms. Before that, he was with Ralph’s... Read more
Nature Fresh Farms to expand successful organic line
Nature Fresh Farms recently added organic bell peppers to its product offering, and the line has been so successful, the company plans to double its current five-acre production next year. Nature Fresh is also doing trials for various types of tomatoes and will eventually branch out into cucumbers, zucchini and eggplant. Chief Executive Officer Peter Quiring said the move was in response to customer demand. “We saw the growth in the category and it wasn’t slowing... Read more
BYRON CENTER, MI — The Michigan vegetable deal for Van Solkema Produce Inc. is progressing well, according to Todd Van Solkema, chief executive officer of the family business, located here. The crops “are all about two weeks late,” Van Solkema told The Produce News the first week of June. He said Michigan cabbage shipments would begin about June 20. Squash harvest was expected to begin in mid-June. Radish shipments for Van Solkema started on May 28. “Carrots are... Read more
When Hollandia Produce LP in Carpinteria, CA, works with customers in the foodservice community, “we are mostly talking about white tablecloth establishments,” said Vince Choate, director of marketing, in an interview with The Produce News, June 24. “Most of the foodservice business we do generally serves that particular niche within the foodservice sector.” The company’s “two entry points” with those establishments are “our flagship product, which is the living... Read more
“Southern Specialties is growing and shipping fabulous specialty tomatoes that are perfect for all summer tomato recipes,” said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for the Pompano Beach, FL-based grower, importer and shipper of high-quality specialty produce. “Chefs can create unsurpassed dishes with a selection of our heirloom, baby heirloom, teardrops and yellow beef tomatoes.” Eagle explained that Southern Specialties started supplying white... Read more
Foodservice is an important sector for Prime Time International in Coachella, CA, which specializes in colored bell peppers and mini-sweet peppers. The company has been exhibiting at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, “for maybe a dozen years or so,” said Mike Aiton, Marketing Manager of Prime Time Sales LLC. “For our business and for the type of people we see there and the things we are trying to accomplish, it... Read more
MAHWAH, NJ — As it has for many years, Supreme Cuts is very much looking forward to the Produce Marketing Association’s annual Foodservice Conference & Expo, scheduled this year for July 25-27 at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, CA. Supreme Cuts, a precut vegetable processor perhaps best known for its high-quality line of snipped green beans, has been attending the popular foodservice conference for more than six years. “It’s a great show for us,”... Read more