Miami-based Bayshore Produce, well known as an importer of high-quality fruit, especially imported grapes, is entering the California grape deal this season for the first time, and is announcing its new venture to the industry with a colorful new brand.
The company is partnering with two established California grape growers in Delano to co-pack the grapes under the brand name "Grapes in the Sun," according to Mike Ryan Jr., business development manager at Bayshore's Tampa, FL, division.
Bayshore Produce was founded almost five years ago by Rosann Cabrera as both an importer and exporter of high-quality produce, specializing in imported grapes, apples and stone fruits, primarily from Chile, which come into the United States through the port of Miami. The company also exports to a number of countries in the Caribbean.
This new deal represents Bayshore's first entry into California grapes as well as the first time it will be shipping under its own brand. "We're very excited about this [new venture]," Cabrera told The Produce News Monday, June 30. "This will be the first time we've packed anything at all in our own label."
Added Ryan, "We trademarked a new brand called 'Grapes in the Sun' which we'll co-pack in California this season. This new California deal gives us the ability to offer our customers a full season of grapes. Customers now only need to make one phone call for a full-year program of grapes."
As it kicks off its new California grape deal, Bayshore will be offering green seedless, red seedless, black seedless and red seeded, said Ryan, who joined the company in August 2013 and who has been in the produce industry for almost 14 years, including eight years with C. H. Robinson Co.
Ryan estimated that the first grapes to carry the "Grapes in the Sun" brand would be shipped around the first week in July. Asked to estimate how much volume the company might ship in this inaugural year, Ryan cautiously replied, "We expect to handle this first year somewhere between 3 million and 4 million pounds of California grapes."
All of the grapes will be packed in what he termed "high-graphic, re-sealable handle bags," and the colorful logo and picture of grapes are designed to draw the consumer's eye to the sweet and fresh product inside each bag, Ryan noted.
If this new venture into California grapes works out as well as Bayshore Produce hopes, it might start shipping Chilean grapes under the new label "as early as this fall," when the new Chilean fruit season begins, said Cabrera.