Amazon Produce buyer favors potential Veracruz route
A new, direct steamship link carrying refrigerated cargo between Veracruz, Mexico, and Philadelphia would be a positive “that would change a lot of things,” in the view of mango importer David Ponce. Ponce is the procurement manager for Amazon Produce Network, which is based in Vineland, NJ.David Ponce, the procurement manager for Amazon Produce Network, which is based in Vineland, NJ. Ninety-five percent of Amazon’s produce imports are mangos. And a direct link... Read more
Courchesne Larose’s success reflected in its growth
It’s a busy summer at Courchesne Larose, with the recent 50 percent acquisition of Dandrea Produce, and more busy months are ahead as the company continues its growth. Courchesne Larose, is a leading produce distributor based in Montreal, and Dandrea Produce is a longtime grower-importer based in Vineland, NJ. Both companies have longstanding success stories with lots of history behind them. Courchesne Larose was founded in Montreal back in 1918, while Dandrea... Read more
Deep roots help Chuck Olsen Co. continue to thrive
With a legacy that dates back more than a century, the Chuck Olsen Co. Inc., based in Visalia, CA, has very deep roots in the California grape industry. Jeff Olsen, the current president of the company and son of the company namesake, said his great-grandfather began farming in the Orange Cove area of the San Joaquin Valley in 1910. The family has been growing and shipping grapes ever since.  Jeff Olsen The current firm was started in 1994 by Chuck Olsen... Read more
Perspective gives Fruit Royale its edge
Before starting Delano, CA-based Fruit Royale Inc. 11 years ago with his brother, Louie Galvan had spent his career as a buyer and buyer-broker.  As a seller today, he stills has the buyer’s perspective in mind, which greatly enhances his ability to service his customers.  To a certain extent, he knows their needs.Fruit Royale owners John Galvan (left) and his brother Louie Galvan. However, being a seller of grapes is different than being a buyer. ... Read more
Sunrain Varieties announces 2015 facility tour
Sunrain Varieties LLC, known for its fresh potato seed development, will hold its annual facility tour Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its offices in Idaho Falls, ID. This event is an opportunity to see the unique and exciting new potato varieties that are under development plus a chance to tour the newly renovated and expanded facility.  In the summer of 2014, two additional greenhouses were added to the Idaho Falls complex plus a new storage unit. Additional... Read more
Crown Jewels staying the course
Atomic Torosian has been in the California table grape industry since he was a young teenager working for a local grower. He has seen his fair share of changes over the years and continuing to remain relevant is an ongoing task. “We stay the course,” said the president of Fresno, CA-based Crown Jewels Produce Co. “We have partnered with some very good growers over the years and continue to represent them.Jose Carrillo far left, Tom Vasquez middle both of Carrillo... Read more
Humble beginnings help shape Jakov Dulcich & Sons
It was on a Saturday morning in July that The Produce News found Nick Dulcich sitting in the McFarland, CA, office of Jakov Dulcich And Sons in the Delano grape growing district.   “That’s interesting that we are talking today,” Nick said over the phone.  “I’m sitting here with my Dad who came to the United States 55 years ago today.” Nick Dulcich is part of the “And Sons” segment of the company, while his dad is the firm’s namesake.   Born in... Read more
Oneonta pitches health
Given the right set of circumstances, children and adults will make the kind of fresh food choices that pave the way for a healthy lifestyle. Dan Wohlford, national marketing representative for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, said the company actively promotes the kind of messaging that helps consumers of all ages work toward this goal. He was asked about the biggest factor hindering children from eating their fruits and veggies, and how Oneonta works to overcome... Read more
Michelin Star-awarded chef joining RPE at PMA Foodservice expo
RPE Inc., in partnership with Chef Joey Elenterio, announced the debut of Tasteful Selections Sweet Surprise Mini Sweet Potatoes. For this year’s PMA Foodservice ‘Chef Talks: Strolling Lunch,’ Chef Elenterio created a flavorful twist on the comfort food classic. On Saturday, July 25, expo attendees can join RPE and Elenterio as he creates chili and tomato braised Tasteful Selections Sweet Surprise potatoes. Tasteful Selections Sweet Surprise Sweet Potatoes... Read more
Heritage: Lakeside Organic Gardens farms  the soil and the soil grows the crops
When he emigrated from the Azores to California in the late 1800s, Joseph (Joe) Peixoto could not have known what an amazing relationship the generations following in his bloodline would have with the soil. That evolution resulted in what is today Lakeside Organic Gardens, a totally organic farming operation recognized as producing some of the highest-quality organic produce in the United States.Joseph and Louise Peixoto flanked by their children and other... Read more
Robinson Fresh to  feature fresh tropicals
Robinson Fresh will capitalize on the breezy nature of summer by featuring freshly-prepared samples of a delicious recipe that blends comfort-food qualities with the flair of fresh tropicals. “Tropicals have a more dominant space than ever, and we see this as a continued area of growth for foodservice,” said Sales and Marketing Manager Lara Grossman. “Pairing tropical produce with more familiar foods is an intelligent way to introduce the fresh flavors into the... Read more
To-Jo offers foodservice operators what they want most
Flavor, value and service are key issues in the foodservice industry, and companies that offer these attributes are those that stay in high demand in the segment. To-Jo Mushrooms in Avondale, PA, offers these and other important components. A savory burger featuring To-Jo fresh mushrooms.The company, a leading mushroom producer, will be promoting its full line of mushroom items at the upcoming PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo on July 24-26, at the Monterey... Read more
General Produce, a leading family-owned-and-operated produce distributor, is ramping up its focus and efforts in the sustainability arena. Improving daily operational targets and establishing a company commitment to achieve green certification by the end of 2015 is an aggressive but worthy goal. “The terms ‘sustainability’ and ‘green’ are often interchanged, but we’ve learned through the initial evaluation process that true sustainability encompasses much more,”... Read more
Mann Packing to discuss ready-to-use products, vegetable trends
Celebrate fresh vegetables at Booth No. 139 at this year’s PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo, where representatives from Mann Packing Co. Inc. will talk about the company’s innovative line of healthy washed and ready-to-eat fresh vegetables. Mann Packing will roll out its new Power Blend salad at this year’s PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo. “We are one of the world’s largest suppliers of fresh broccoli, distributing more than 35 commodity and fresh-cut... Read more
TMD, a marketing and design firm, has launched its new website, The website showcases TMD’s commitment to being its client’s strategic marketing partner. Through branding, design, development, photography, video, Web, and more, TMD has established itself as a leader in developing agricultural marketing solutions. From seed companies to fresh produce, from food service to retail, and everything in-between, TMD said great messaging and increased... Read more
Violent flash storm tests Basciani Farms’ ability and it stands up to the task
On Tuesday, June 23, a violent flash storm swept across Philadelphia and surrounding regions delivering straight-line wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour. Patio furniture tossed about, trees uprooted and roofs were torn from their structures. Over 100,000 people were without power even three days after the storm, which lasted only minutes. “It looked like a wall of wind and rain barreling across the area, and then, 10 minutes later, it was sunny in Philadelphia,”... Read more
Froerer Farms sees longest asparagus season in 20 years
Nyssa, OR-based Froerer Farms saw its longest asparagus-growing in the 20 years the family operation has been growing that crop. According to Craig Froerer, farm manager, the last two decades has had an average of 40 packing days, but in 2015 Owyhee Produce, the packing arm of the operation, fresh-packed for 57 days.Froerer Farms in Nyssa, OR, saw its longest asparagus-packing season in the 20 years it’s been growing that commodity. (Photo courtesy of Froerer Farms) Froerer... Read more
Southern Specialties celebrating 25 years as a leader in the  specialty produce category
When Southern Specialties was founded in 1990 by Robert Colescott, its name reflected precisely what the company set out to do — provide specialty products. Its primary customer category at that time was the foodservice industry. Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for the Pompano Beach, FL-based company explained why. Southern Selects’ crispy French Beans with spicy dipping sauce.“At that time California cuisine, Nouveau cuisine and the popularity... Read more
Garlic is instrumental in most kitchens and in nearly every culture. Its distinct flavor cannot be replaced by any other product. With garlic, it’s all about great flavor. Patsy Ross, marketing director for Christopher Ranch, a leading producer of domestic garlic based in Gilroy, CA, said that chef’s agree there is a difference in flavor between California heirloom garlic and imported garlic.  “Christopher Ranch is pleased to offer our foodservice customers... Read more
Colorado peaches early, corn running slightly later for Ringer & Son
What Ringer & Son Sales Agent Deb Pate called a “bumper crop of peaches” from Colorado’s Western Slope started shipping in late June, with volume expected to hit mid-July, somewhat earlier than normal. Pate said with the late-season variety that comes on in early September, the season will go possibly to the end of that month. “There will be a slight drop in volume in August, but it will go up again with that late variety,” she said. Olathe Sweet Corn from... Read more