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COMPANY PROFILES

Oppy celebrates 160-year journey with an eye to future innovations
More than a quarter century before Coca-Cola served up its first soft drink — and a half century before the first Boeing airplane took flight — Oppenheimer Bros. & Co. was going strong, provisioning the fortune seekers bound for the Cariboo Gold Rush. Having celebrated its 160th anniversary in July, the Vancouver, BC-based Oppy has grown into a leading international fresh produce marketing company, innovating across the decades to serve changing customer needs... Read more
Seal the Seasons finds the secret to offering year-round local produce
There is nothing quite like biting into a plump, sweet New Jersey blueberry. Ditto a South Carolina peach, or a Michigan cherry. But as any farmer knows, the seasons are fleeting with excellent local crops being available for only a few weeks each year, leading to market gluts, wasted product and other issues. Officials at Seal the Seasons have solved these age-old dilemmas by working with small, local family-owned farms to freeze their product when it is in season... Read more
GR Fresh successfully running  ‘Agro for People’ program
A comprehensive program addressing social responsibility is being sponsored by GR Fresh’s corporate establishment GRUPO GR. Tony Incaviglia, vice president of sales and marketing for GR Fresh, said some international corporations, such as Coca-Cola, have similar programs. At company headquarters near Culiacan, GR Fresh managers review the health care program for company workers. Photo courtesy of GR Fresh.But to the best of his knowledge this program, titled Agro... Read more
Christopher Ranch anticipates strong garlic crops in 2018
Christopher Ranch has been participating in the PMA’s Foodservice Conference almost since its inception and is looking forward to being back in 2018. Patsy Ross, marketing director of the company, noted it has also served as a featured tour for many years, proudly showing the participants its production facilities at its home ranch in Gilroy, CA.  “The PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo is very important to Christopher Ranch,” Ross said. “We see both our... Read more
Prime Time International is the place for peppers
PMA Foodservice Show attendees will be picking “The Pepper People” when they stop by Prime Time International at Booth No. 514. “We mostly specialize in sweet peppers, the Bell peppers and sweet mini peppers,” said Katy Johnson, marketing director at Coachella, CA-based Prime Time International Produce. “We do have some other varieties, but they are mostly seasonal.” In addition to peppers, Prime Time International will also be displaying asparagus and watermelons... Read more
Oppy to showcase berries, tomatoes, grapes and cherries
Oppy’s booth No. 915 will be a cornucopia of in-season items at July’s PMA Foodservice Show in Monterey, CA, with the Ocean Spray Family-Farmer Owned berry program, Oceanside Pole tomatoes, table grapes and Oregon cherries in the spotlight. Oppy’s Ocean Spray Family-Farmer Owned berry program is being featured at Booth No. 915 at the PMA Foodservice Show in Monterey, CA, July 28-29.According to Chris Ford, organic and foodservice category manager for Oppy, the... Read more
Wada Farms offers broad line of products to foodservice
As with Idaho itself, Idaho Falls ID-based Wada Farms is perhaps best known for its Idaho russet potatoes. “A lot of people aren’t quite as familiar with the company’s other products as they are with our Idaho russet program,” said Keven Stanger, president of Wada Farms Marketing Group. For that reason, the theme of Wada Farms’ booth at the PMA Foodservice Expo in Monterey, CA, July 29 will be roots beyond russets. Kevin Stanger“We are highlighting all of our... Read more
Nash Produce sweetening the usage of sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are not just for the holidays anymore. That is one of the key takeaways that attendees are going to learn when the stop by the Nash Produce booth, No. 807, at the PMA Foodservice Show in Monterrey, CA, July 28-29. “One of the things I’m trying to do is introduce sweet potatoes as something more than a holiday food,” said Tami Long, director of marketing and business development at Nash Produce, based in Nashville, NC. “We ship all year long — 365... Read more
Foodservice sector launched  Gold Coast 40 years ago
Most grower-shipper firms were started as suppliers to retailers or wholesalers. They only moved into the foodservice sector as that segment matured as a major user of fresh fruit and vegetables. However, that is not the case with Gold Coast Packing Inc., a Central California grower, shipper and processor with roots dating back to 1978. Gold Coast’s new Sunny Superfood salad blend.“Our focus has always been foodservice, but over the last few years we have started... Read more
Pure Flavor gearing up to start shipping from its new facility
Construction continues full speed ahead at Pure Flavor’s new Fort Valley, GA, greenhouse facility. Chief Marketing Officer Chris Veillon said that Phase 1 of 25 acres at the site is scheduled for completion in late summer. “From there, the tomato and cucumber crops will be planted with first picks expected in late fall,” said Veillon. “The total project for this site calls for three phases of 25 acres each; a total of 75 acres once completed.” Pure Flavor's new... Read more
Westmoreland-TopLine Farms is a grower-owned company in Leamington, ON, that is family-owned and family-run. Jimmy Copploa, account marketing manager for the company, said those involved work hand-in-hand with its greenhouses in order to properly forecast production and get the information to its retail partners so they can properly set promotions in place to keep the movement steady.   “Within our greenhouses, you’ll find all the staple items such as... Read more
D’Arrigo Bros. always welcomes the New York produce season
A strong advocate for locally grown produce, D’Arrigo Bros. Co., located on the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, NY, looks forward to another New York produce season. The multi-generational family-owned company has its roots in local produce. It has served the New York metropolitan area for over 50 years and delivers everything the fresh fruit and vegetable industry has to offer with its fleet of more than 50 trucks. Gabriela D’Arrigo, marketing and communications... Read more
Turek Farms in a New York state of mind
As of early June, Jason Turek, a partner in both King Ferry, NY-based Turek Farms and its marketing arm, Cayuga Produce Inc., said its growers were in the midst of harvest in Georgia on sweet corn and planting Labor Day corn in New York. It’s also finishing up pumpkin planting in the latter state. New York-grown produce represents almost two-thirds of the company sales, so it’s vital that things go well there. Thankfully, that appears to be the case in 2018. ... Read more
Riggio Distribution Co. in the business of health
In southeastern Michigan, Riggio Distribution Co. is a great facilitator. The produce wholesale and distribution company partners with international, domestic and local growers to service all facets of the food supply. But it is not just fruits and vegetables that it is selling, rather it is a healthy lifestyle. “We handle a full line of conventional and organic produce,” said Dominic Riggio, company president. “But when you consider the business, we are really... Read more
Monte Package Co. cites several current packaging strengths
riverside, mi — Pouch bags continue to take the produce industry by storm. Plastic corrugated cartons are seeing increased demand and heat-sealed, clear-top, compostable base tills are coming on strong. Sam Monte, director of operations for his family business, Monte Package Co., cited these highlights as the firm is “geared up and out in front” in preparation for a new Michigan shipping season. While Monte Package has national distribution, the Michigan market... Read more
Sunview Marketing specializing in organic grapes
Sunview Marketing Int., doing business in Delano, CA, is one of the larger growers of organic grapes in the Central Valley of California.  “We have a full assortment of organic grapes including our proprietary varieties Stella Bella and Rosa,” said Mitch Wetzel, vice president of sales for the company. “We have been committed to organic farming for years and have been increasing our acreage in this area.” There’s no real secret to success with organics, Wetzel... Read more
Homegrown sees continued growth in organic sector
Because the category has sustained significant growth on an annual basis for many years and has now reached a much larger number in gross sales, organic produce sales are seeing a decrease in percentage growth but they are still outpacing other groceries sectors. At least that is the view of Scott Mabs, chief executive officer of Homegrown Organic Farms, in Porterville, CA. He said it is a numbers game as single digit growth of a much-larger starting point is still... Read more
Peri & Sons back to year-round organic onions
As a grower of both conventional and organic onions, Peri & Sons Farms is a major player in the category, growing in both Nevada and California. “It’s very enticing for customers because they can buy both from us,” said Mindy VanVleck, sales for the Yerington, NV-based company. “Organics sometimes aren’t a big mover percentage-wise or volume-wise, but it’s a huge deal to be able to load organics along with your conventional products so you don’t have to worry... Read more
Top Brass goes all-in  on organic potatoes
Top Brass Produce, based in Bakersfield, CA, is the official sales agent for Vignolo Farms, which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.  “We have been farming organic grapes and potatoes for several years and are committed to organics,” said Brett Dixon, president of Top Brass. “The largest news this year is that we converted 100 percent of our potato business to organics. Now we only grow and sell organic potatoes out of the central valley of California. We... Read more
Sunny Valley warms up with glowing Jersey peach harvest
Sunny Valley International — one of the larger shippers of New Jersey peaches — is expecting a full crop of yellow peaches that are on par in condition and quality with last year’s excellent harvest. “The cold weather this winter had no impact on the crop,” said Bob Von Rohr, director of marketing and customer relations at Glassboro, NJ-based Sunny Valley International. He noted that the trees had an excellent bloom with a good crop set, setting the stage for a... Read more