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COMPANY PROFILES

Top Brass grape lineup includes new varieties, classic standards
This year in the San Joaquin Valley of California, Top Brass Produce in Delano, CA, the sales arm of Vignolo Farms, will have “six varieties of red seedless grapes, seven varieties of green seedless grapes, and three of black seedless,” according to Brett Dixon, president. The company farms conventional and organic table grapes, 14 varieties of wine grapes and several varieties of organic potatoes, all in the San Joaquin Valley. The Top Brass sales and support... Read more
Sage Fruit cites great weather, good sizing in 2018
Though somewhat smaller in volume, the 2018 Sage Fruit Co. stone fruit crop is sizing up well, according to Kaci Komstadius, social media manager for the Yakima, WA, operation. Assessing the crop during the third week of May, Komstadius said, “As of right now it looks like the volume for the 2018 stone fruit crop is slightly down from last year. However, the sizing of the fruit itself should be larger than it was in 2017.” Sage Fruit expects good volume for its... Read more
NYAA says 2018 crop is ‘well on its way from blossom to awesome!’
Cynthia Haskins, chief executive officer of the New York Apple Association, headquartered in Fishers, NY, said the 2018 crop of New York apples is “well on its way from blossom to awesome!” She noted that this spring, orchards across the state — from western New York to Hudson Valley and the Lake Champlain Region — have benefited from favorable weather. “There’s been ample sun, average temperatures and appropriate moisture,” said Haskins. “The fruit will spend... Read more
S. Katzman Produce expanding BloomFresh brand
Hunts Point Produce Market-based S. Katzman Produce Inc., has a passion for fresh fruits and vegetables. As a leading company on the market, as well as a major Northeast and beyond distributor, its full line of produce includes every category and top brand names. Stefanie Katzman, fourth generation family member, said the company is always looking for the next new item or variety. “We source product from across the country and around the world, so everyone has... Read more
Rice Fruit Co. busy with a wide range of retail, import, facility improvements
Leading Pennsylvania apple producer and shipper, Rice Fruit Co., headquartered in Gardners, PA, is currently in the final quarter of marketing its 2017 crop. In mid-May, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Brenda Briggs, said market demand in recent weeks had been stronger than expected. “Additionally, we are working with our retail partners on programs and promotions for the upcoming season,” said Briggs. “And we are working with industry partners to provide... Read more
John Galaida looking forward to the start of blueberry season
hammonton, nj — The cold spring that New Jersey and most of the Northeast endured “didn’t have too much effect” on blueberries in the Garden State, according to John Galaida, general manager of Pleasantdale Farms. As such, “I’m thinking around the 16th or 17th” of June as a start date for New Jersey blues, he told The Produce News Thursday morning, May 24. John Galaida of Pleasantdale Farms looking at some Duke variety blueberries toward the end of May. Photo by... Read more
FreshPro Food Distributors growing  its line in numerous directions
Touted as the one-stop shop for all your perishable food needs, West Caldwell, NJ-based FreshPro Food Distributors covers nearly the entire refrigerated and fresh cut sections. Its emphasis is on bulk packs for kitchen/salad bars, retail packs for supermarkets or convenience stores, private label or under its own FreshPro brand. Since 1985 the company has supplied the food industry with a wide variety of high-quality conventional and organic produce, fresh-cuts,... Read more
E. Armata takes pride in its high level of customer satisfaction
E. Armata Inc., located on the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, NY, continually invests in its future with facility acquisitions, renovations, technology upgrades and fleet additions. Chris Armata, company president and third-generation family member, said the company has added eight fully renovated units on row A at the terminal market in the past four years. “Last August we proudly completed the full renovation of these newly acquired units,” said Armata.... Read more
Sunny Valley gearing up for busy blueberry season
Sunny Valley International, based in Glassboro, NJ, serves as the exclusive sales and marketing agent for the “Jersey Fruit” label, which is a Co-Op of the state’s blueberry and peach growers during the summer months. The company also represents blueberry growers from Argentina, Chile and the BC. Robert Von Rohr, director of customer relations for the company, said the secret to success with selling blueberries is to establish good relationships with... Read more
D’Ottavio offers conventional  and organic blueberries
vineland, nj — M. D’Ottavio Produce Inc.’s “old homestead farm is certified organic through QCS,” company President Michael D’Ottavio told The Produce News Wednesday, May 23, referring to the company Quality Certification Services. “We will offer organic and conventional blues off the farm this season, and with bushes that are only six years old, we will have amazing size and taste.” Elaine D’Ottavio, Mike D’Ottavio, Anthony D’Ottavio and Erica D’Ottavio of D’Ottavio... Read more
Size matters when tracking watermelon sales
Dulcinea Farms, part of Pacific Trellis Fruit, is helping make life (and tracking sales) easier for the entire melon category — or at the very least those who sell the yellow mini seedless variety. “This is really rooted in a shortcoming we identified over the past year — specifically, the inability to differentiate and track sales between full size yellow seedless watermelons and our SunnyGold Yellow Mini Seedless watermelons due to the fact there was previously... Read more
Last year, cherries in the Northwest had a record year, with just under 27 million boxes shipped. And while Mac Riggan, director of marketing for Chelan Fresh in Chelan, WA, said 2018 won’t hit that number, there will still be plenty of quality cherries available. “I’m anticipating a good crop this year because I think after last year’s record crop there was a lot of pruning,” Riggan said. “And probably the pendulum’s going to swing a little toward the trees being... Read more
Orchard View partnership sets up quality season
A union made at the beginning of the year between Orchard View and Omeg Family Orchards is about to see the first fruits of its labor, which means more high-quality cherries from The Dalles’ best multi-generation growers. The respective farms have been neighbors and friends since Orchard View’s start in 1923. Owner of Omeg Family Orchards, Mike Omeg, and Orchard View President Brenda Thomas have watched each other grow up to their current positions in their family... Read more
Superfresh Growers optimistic about cherry season
Superfresh Growers, based in Yakima, WA, is one of the largest tree fruit growers in the Northwest, farming thousands of acres of cherries throughout the region, which allows it to partner on season-long programs with retailers. “All of our fruit is sorted and packed using the latest technologies,” said Catherine Gipe-Stewart, communications manager of Domex Superfresh Growers. “It’s important to be in tune with the latest technology and growing practices. We continue... Read more
GM sourcing  Mexican mangos from many areas
Michoacán mango shipping will be running until mid-June for GM Produce Sales LLC, according to Wade Shiba, director of sales in the family business, which is based in Hidalgo, TX. The Kent mango variety from Michoacán was to begin in the week of May 20 and is expected to run until mid-June. Sue Dinuba and her brother and business partner Wade Shiba promoted GM Produce Sales LLC at the Viva Fresh Expo in April.GM’s Michoacán growers will be shipping light volume... Read more
Jade Produce enjoying successful Mexican mango deal
“The market is good,” Rudy Uresti said of the Mexican mango deal. “We’re finishing Oaxaca this week. We now go to Nayarit and then Sinaloa.” Uresti, who owns Jade Produce LLC in Mission, TX, said May 16 that the Mexican mango industry is ahead of last year and has already surpassed 3 million boxes of mango exports. He said that the Mexican total for last year was around 12 million boxes. Rudy and Cecilia Uresti promoted Jade Produce with their son Ryan at the... Read more
With the Mexican mango season under way, Robinson Fresh has announced its participation in the certified Fair Trade program, assuring that its mangos are produced in accordance with worker and environmental protections. James Watson, who handles sourcing for Robinson Fresh, which is headquartered in Eden Prarie, MN, said the firm “is excited to announce a commitment to supporting sustainable income, community empowerment, individual and community well-being, and... Read more
Nash Produce continues run of sweet success
When it comes to produce in North Carolina, sweet potatoes are No. 1, and one of the key players is Nash Produce. Tami Long, director of marketing and business development for Nash Produce, based in Nashville, NC, said the company’s relationship with the state includes serving on the board of the Sweet Potato Commission and working with the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Yam’s branded sweet potatoes from Nash Produce. “All of our sweet potatoes are North Carolina-grown,”... Read more
Northampton Growers moving smoothly from one growing region to the next along the East Coast
With nearly 60 years of experience, Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., is acutely aware of the importance of precision timing in planting and harvesting fresh vegetables in its numerous growing regions. The Cheriton, VA-based company follows the growing seasons from Florida, to Georgia, then to North Carolina and finally to Michigan. It then reverses its programs and heads back south. Today, as one of the largest fresh produce growers, packers and shippers... Read more
Sunny Valley on track for great New Jersey peach and blueberry crops
Glassboro, NJ-based Sunny Valley International is anticipating an excellent crop of both blueberries and peaches this year. On May 8, Director of Customer Relations, Bob Von Rohr, said the company’s projected harvest start on blueberries is mid-June. “We will have excellent promotable volumes going into July 4th; the ‘Red, White and Blueberry’ holiday,” said Von Rohr. “The season is expected to run through early August.” Sunny Valley will kick off its New Jersey... Read more