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COMPANY PROFILES

Spice World boasts the ‘best garlic under the sun’
Spice World Inc., headquartered in Orlando, FL, is gearing up with anticipation over the upcoming New England Produce Council Produce & Floral Expo 2014 on Sept. 11. The company will be exhibiting at Booth No. 345, and on hand to meet and greet existing and potentially new customers will be Chris Whitson, vice president of sales, as well as Arden Caneza Laughter and Drew Caneza, both sales representatives. Louis Hymel, director of purchasing and marketing... Read more
Jack Brown working on ‘five-year window’
Jack Brown Produce Inc., located in Sparta, MI, “is taking a look at the next five-year window,” said John Schaefer, Jr., president of the firm. “We will have a lot of new acreage and a lot of upgraded acreage. The growers looked at their older blocks and decided to switch to newer, better strains. And they looked at what their customers wanted to buy.” That demand was for more flavorful varieties, such as Gala and Honeycrisp. These are “now in the ground” in much... Read more
Pink Lady apples  coming on for Riveridge
By 2016, Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., headquartered in Sparta, MI, will be a supplier of Pink Lady apples. Don Armock, president and partner of Riveridge, said Aug. 12, “We and our partners have started planting a strain of Pink Lady that matures three weeks earlier than the standard.” The earlier strain apparently has all of the positive characteristics that have quickly brought Pink Lady to accounting for what Armock said is seven percent of national apple... Read more
Hudson River Fruit Distributors looking forward to great season
Hudson River Fruit Distributors in Milton, NY, was established in 1963 by Isadore (Izzy) Albinder, along with his son Harold Albinder. Today the company is in its fourth generation of ownership and management. Alisha Albinder represents the fourth generation and works in operations. She explained that Izzy Albinder first entered the business by selling apples on a push cart in Brooklyn in the 1930s. Harold entered the business full time in the late 1950s, and... Read more
Fred Hess, co-owner of Hess Bros. Fruit Co. in Lancaster, PA, told The Produce News that the company’s crop condition was in very good shape this year. “It’s true that we’re about to enjoy a great upcoming season, but as growers we know better than to make predictions until the fruit is in the bins,” he said. “Still, we’ve had great growing weather and it looks like a premium crop. Volumes may be down a little in spots, but we feel that the quality will make up... Read more
Bayshore Produce enters California grape deal, debuts its retail brand
As reported previously in The Produce News, Bayshore Produce LLC, an import-export company based in Miami, that has been heavily involved in Chilean exports, entered the California grape deal this summer in order to offer clients an extended season on grapes and has introduced a new trademarked retail brand, “Grapes in the Sun.” Since launching the new program in July, “we have shipped quite a few loads of our label, and everything is going well,” said founder... Read more
Pomegranates are big fall item for Simonian Fruit Co.
Through spring and early summer, Simonian Fruit Co. keeps busy with an assortment of stone fruit, and from early July on into fall, the company also ships table grapes, including specialty Champagne grapes in red and green varieties. But Simonian Fruit’s big fall item is pomegranates, according to Jeff Simonian, vice president of sales. The company’s pomegranate season this year was expected to start around the first of September. Like most California crops, that... Read more
'VegDeLite' moving to six-ounce packaging
This summer Miami-based Growers Are Us is rolling out a new six-ounce package of its “VegDeLite”-brand single-serving vegetables. Dan Wahl, who founded the company in January 2013, said the new size is to bring consumers greater value than the three-ounce packaging his firm introduced in October 2013. Wahl, who has decades of experience trading produce from Central America, grows the VegDeLite produce in Guatemala. They are then packed in see-through packaging,... Read more
Food donors providing healthy options through hunger relief programs
Hungry people come from all walks of life. Meet David — a firefighter for 15 years until he broke his back a couple years ago. Unable to work, he depends on his monthly disability to support himself and his 13-year-old son. He barely affords his rent and his food situation is grim. “By the middle of the month, my son and I are often out of food,” David said. “Until I heard about your mobile food pantry, we really had nowhere else to turn. Thank you for providing... Read more
Promotion remains the key to sales for Ayco
For Peter Warren, business development for Ayco Farms Inc. in Pompano Beach, FL, the Peruvian asparagus deal can be boiled down to a simple equation: a good f.o.b. price equals retail promotions, which equals good sales. “You can sell 10 times more product [at retail] if the price is $2.99 than if it is $5.99,” he stated. More than most items, he said asparagus is price-sensitive and reacts very favorably to promotions and promotion pricing. Consequently, he gets... Read more
Peruvian asparagus an integral part of branded commodities at Robinson Fresh
Robinson Fresh continues to build its supply-side relationships to ensure that the domestic marketplace has access to the finest quality asparagus available at any time of year. “Peru is a key source of Robinson Fresh’s asparagus supply with seasonal volumes from Mexico, California and Washington,” Joe Dugo, senior sourcing representative, told The Produce News. “Although Robinson Fresh offers Peruvian asparagus year-round, volume typically peaks at the end of... Read more
Stemilt to introduce new ‘Rushing Rivers’ label
This season, Stemilt Growers LLC will introduce its “Rushing Rivers” pear label. “The ‘Rushing Rivers’ label will adorn all of our pear boxes this season and help retailers tell the special story of our locale through displays and signage,” said Director of Marketing Roger Pepperl. Stemilt Growers is located in Wenatchee, WA, and is one of the state’s leaders in tree fruit production. “The label stemmed from our leadership position growing pears in the best pear... Read more
Hollandia’s Overgaag family celebrates deep roots in the Netherlands
This summer, 22 members of the Overgaag family trekked to the Netherlands to visit their ancestral home where a couple of well-known California grower-shippers can trace their beginnings. Leading the group was Art Overgaag and his wife of 55 years, Magda. They emigrated from the Netherlands in 1968 and though they have been back many times, this was the first time the entire family made the trip together. The idea had been percolating for many years. Fifteen years... Read more
New Oneonta pear packaging making its way to retailers
Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers is introducing some new pear packaging options this season. Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers plans to introduce its new ‘Pears-To-Go’ bin this season. (Photo courtesy of Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers) “We will have a new pouch bag for red Anjou pears this year,” said National Marketing Representative Dan Wohlford. “This is another option for retailers to capture sales on this pear variety that is growing in popularity. We also have a ‘Pears-To-Go’... Read more
Truck fleet operators around the country are equipping their trucks with state-of-the-art tracking systems that allow customers to quickly see where those trucks are as they travel across the nation with freight. “But what about the owner-operators?” asked Paul Kazan, founder and president of Target Interstate Systems, which is located on the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, NY. “They aren’t putting these expensive systems on their trucks. They know where their... Read more
C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN, has established a solid reputation for keeping fresh produce at the peak of perfection, thereby exceeding customer expectations. “Since C.H. Robinson was founded in 1905, the company has been in the fresh produce business, and much of the company’s logistics expertise can be traced to significant experience in handling produce and other perishable items,” said Bob Biesterfeld, vice president of North... Read more
G&D Wallace/Wallace Farms will commence its potato harvest around Sept. 8. Jack Wallace, co-owner and sales manager, said all indications point to a very successful year. “This has been a good growing season,” he told The Produce News in mid-August. “We had a good weather window for planting, and the summer has been nice as well.” The company, located in Burlington, WA, in the heart of the Skagit Maritime Valley, was founded by brothers George and Dick Wallace,... Read more
On Aug. 6, Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties, headquartered in Pompano Beach, FL, explained to The Produce News that in 2001, in response to inquiries from the foodservice community, the company became involved in growing and shipping heirloom tomatoes. “Chefs have been and continue to seek heirlooms for their intense tomato flavor, unique shapes and appealing colors,” said Eagle. “We are still shipping heirlooms. Our... Read more
Belleharvest Sales, Inc., headquartered in Belding, MI, is continuing to develop its apple program toward the high-flavor varieties that are increasingly in consumer demand, according to Chris Sandwick, Belleharvest’s vice president of sales and marketing. Varieties headlining this effort are Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala and Topaz. The Topaz is an heirloom red, round apple, which has some russeting, he said. “It sizes up nicely and fits the profile for retail,” he noted.   “Varieties... Read more
The National Association of Produce Market Managers will hold a regional retail meeting at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, MI, Oct. 23-25. According to the association, “The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is the region’s new choice for fresh, delicious foods and amazing public market merchants. The Market is a $30 million, self-sustaining, LEED-certified, mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local foods... Read more