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COMPANY PROFILES

Nickey Gregory Co. touts new processing division
With 2018 coming to a close, those at the Atlanta-based Nickey Gregory Co. are looking back on the year with fond memories and a sense of achievement. “About six months ago, we started our own processing division called Family Fresh Foods and we bought a lot of state-of-the-art equipment to start chopping and slicing and dicing a lot of items we used to buy second-hand,” said Andrew Scott, director of business development for the company. “We’re processing our... Read more
Delta Fresh big in veg and warehousing
NOGALES, AZ — Delta Fresh is a major distributor and marketer of fresh produce, with a grower base spanning Mexico. Atanasio Panousopoulos stands outside the firm’s Nogales warehouse which is to officially open late this November. The firm will distribute 12 million cases of tomatoes this winter, according to Atanasio Panousopoulos, a third-generation operator of the firm. Delta Fresh also handles cucumbers, Bell and spicy peppers, eggplant and various squashes. But,... Read more
The Sykes Co. launches organic squash program
The Sykes Co., based in Rio Rico, AZ, recently announced that it is unveiling the Palo Alto Organics brand for hard squash in partnership with its growers in Mexico. Lesley SykesThe company will roll out the new organic offerings, consisting of butternut and spaghetti squash, over the next week. “Our organic squash will be available in all standard sizes and the quality is looking really good. We are proud to have diversified into this category that strongly resonates... Read more
Peppers Plus moving forward
rio rico, az — Enjoying “conservative growth,” Peppers Plus LLC is moving ahead this season with green, red, yellow and orange blocky Bell peppers remaining the firm’s core item. Bobby Astengo, managing director, said the firm has moved from marketing 100 acres of mesh-house Bells a year ago to 112 acres this season. Astengo is also offering hard shell squash to his customers. Peppers Plus LLC is moving ahead this season with green, red, yellow and orange blocky... Read more
By keeping themselves involved in all aspects of the production chain, Prime Time International, headquartered in Coachella, CA, is able to provide premium quality peppers 365 days a year. Eric Meyer, head of sales at the company’s Nogales, AZ-based office, said in addition to the year-round supply of all the different color peppers, the green house peppers run from mid-October to early May. “It’s an important area that helps us bridge Mexico crossing into Nogales.... Read more
Warehouse move enables IPR growth
NOGALES, AZ — On Nov. 1 last year, IPR Fresh bought and moved into a modern Nogales warehouse venue to have the space to expand the business. That plan is running like clockwork. “We have increased our production this year,” said Jose Luis Obregon, the company president. “Our growth is in a new deal, receiving yellow and Italian squash.” Jose Luis Obregon stands with the Organic Republic label organic Bell peppers shipped by his firm, IPR Fresh. Obregon said... Read more
GreenPoint growing with  20th anniversary at hand
rio rico, az — As it prepares for the firm’s 20th anniversary in 2019, the future looks bright for GreenPoint Distributing LLC. “This year we have programmed a lot of increases in the majority of the items that we sell,” said Omar Losolla, who is GreenPoint’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Our growth has been exponential over the last four years. A lot of that is new, top growers. And a lot is new, top retail customers, as well.” Losolla firmly added:... Read more
Duda Farm Fresh Foods to bring an outstanding corn crop to market
With more than 90 years of growing experience and six generations of legacy-building in an extensive line of produce, including value added products, Oviedo, FL-based Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. is in place to bring an outstanding crop of sweet corn to market this season. On Nov. 15, Bert Barnes, account manager working out of the company’s Wellington, FL office, said sweet corn was being harvested out of Belle Glade, FL. “Harvesting conditions are great,” said... Read more
R.C. Hatton increases cabbage production
R.C. Hatton Inc. prides itself on offering high-quality green beans, sweet corn and cabbage from farm-to-table. The Pahokee, FL-based company currently grows about 8,000 acres and its production continues to increase year after year. “We have a lot of young, talented employees who are growing in our company and we are excited about the future,” said Jonathan Allen, R.C. Hatton’s farm manager for cabbage and organics. “We are trying to be more efficient than we... Read more
Green skin avocados are the pick of the crop at WP Produce
WP Produce is turning the tropical fruit industry avocado green with envy. Pioneers in the Dominican green skin avocado market, Miami-based WP Produce Corp. began sourcing green skin avocados from the Dominican Republic in 1992 after the Florida crop of green skin avocados was wiped out by hurricanes. Because of the high quality of the fruit and strong partnerships with growers in the Dominican Republic, WP Produce continues to be the largest importer and distributor... Read more
Paradise Produce keeps on  truckin’ to success
For 29 years, Paradise Produce Distributors has been a year-round distributor of fruits and vegetables and have practically perfected the practice of filling customers’ produce, transportation, marketing and promotional needs. “Every year is different in the produce business and this was another one that fell into the prevailing pattern; we had some very good things happen and some very, very strange things happen,” said Joel Silverman, president of the Lakeland,... Read more
Addition of Texas distribution creates opportunities for SunFed
rio rico, az — “There are a ton of opportunities” for SunFed, with the firm adding a distribution presence in south Texas, complementing Nogales operations, said Craig Slate, the firm’s president and chief executive officer. The warehouse facility in Weslaco, TX, has particularly given SunFed opportunities with Mexican onions and avocados. In the Rio Rico conference room of SunFed are the firm’s top executives Craig Slate and Matt Mandel.Slate joined SunFed almost... Read more
Coast Produce revitalizes  its Nogales operation
NOGALES, AZ — Coast Produce Co., Inc., based in Los Angeles, has had a Nogales presence for decades. Owned by the Dunn family in California, Coast Produce is 64 years old. Jerry Wagner, general manager of the Coast Nogales operation, said John Dunn told Wagner 18 months ago that Coast in Nogales needed to be more deeply invested in the warehousing business; parallel to the firm’s direction in southern California. Wagner then began working with Nogales’ Panousopoulos... Read more
Gourmet Trading filling demand for larger blueberry packs
Once the domain of club stores, larger retail packs of blueberries are finding favor in many different outlets, which has resulted in an increase in that pack size from Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading. “We are offering more and more bigger packs, such as 18-ounce clamshells,” said Luciano Fiszman, blueberry category manager for the firm. “It used to be a format that only club stores were carrying, now most stores are looking into this pack.” Retailers should... Read more
Crystal Valley Foods Miami operation earns organic handler certification
Crystal Valley Foods has received the organic handler certification at its warehouse and distribution center in Miami. The certification was issued by SCS Global Services (SCS). “Crystal Valley Foods has achieved organic handler certification at their Miami, Florida facility, having demonstrated full compliance with USDA National Organic Program standards.” said Brandon Nauman, SCS’s associate managing director, organic and non-GMO programs. The company is currently... Read more
As the industry grows so does McDaniel Fruit Co, adding volume incrementally from the various source of production, including Mexico. Rankin McDaniel Sr., president of the firm, said the company is always looking to add growers and it has also experienced natural growth as the growers it works with expand their own operations. In fact, the company is closely mirroring the top trend lines in the industry as it continues to see production gains in both organic fruit... Read more
Avocados are a top five item for almost every produce department in the United States, which has led one avocado grower-shipper-importer to re-focus its efforts toward supplying its customers with additional category management information to help further grow sales. Over the last several months, Mission Produce Inc. in Oxnard, CA, has launched a couple of initiatives designed to help retailers maximize sales while at the same time allowing growers to maximize... Read more
Currently, fruit from Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. is involved in a test marketing program with Apeel Sciences gauging how plant-based materials can act as a second skin and greatly enhance the shelf life of avocados and other fruits and vegetables. Bob Lucy, president of Fallbrook, CA-based Del Rey, told The Produce News at the end of October that the test program is going well. “We are very encouraged by the early results,” he said, but added that Apeel Sciences... Read more
Homegrown sees rise in organic citrus demand
Homegrown Organic Farms, located in Porterville, CA, is celebrating its 20th year as an organic marketer of citrus and the company continues to see growth across all of its categories. Over the last six years, the company has seen a big interest in organic citrus from retailer. Prior to that, much of the business had been managed by distributors and wholesalers. “Citrus is big, but we are a lot more than that as a company,” said Craig Morris, citrus category director... Read more
West Pak focuses on branded bagged avocados
Capitalizing on the seemingly unstoppable avocado craze, West Pak Avocado Inc. is focusing a considerable portion of its attention on the continued development of bagged avocados, offering retailers several different options to sell to consumers. At the recent Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit convention om Orlando, FL, the firm was touting its “I Love Avocados” brand of both conventional and organic bagged fruit as well as its newest addition to that... Read more