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COMPANY PROFILES

The Perishable Specialist knows fresh produce
The Perishable Specialist Inc., a customs brokerage firm in Miami, is dedicated entirely to the produce industry so its business is streamlined to handle perishables exclusively. Owned by husband and wife Frank and Ana Ramos, The Perishable Specialist deals repeatedly with government agencies and departments, vendors and the steamship lines. “We are the epitome of streamlined process when it comes to clearing imported fruits and vegetables,” said Frank Ramos.... Read more
MAS looking forward to 2015 programs
RIO RICO, AZ — After a rough fall start in the melon business, Miguel (Miky) Suarez is looking forward to a fresh start in the new year. The owner of MAS Melons & Grapes LLC, headquartered here, said his firm’s December melon production will still be affected by two August hurricanes striking West Mexico growing areas. Northern Mexico will provide MAS with some melons, before the firm moves to growers in southern Mexico in the first days of January. Otherwise... Read more
High-quality products from New World Farming Trade
“We strive toward our goal as a team dedicated to the mission of growing, supplying and servicing customers with high-quality products and information,” Jim Mulcahy, North American sales manager for New World Farming Trade, told The Produce News. “This starts with our focus on growing, packing and shipping according to Good Manufacturing Practices [commonly referred to as GMP] and food-safety-certification requirements. “We — individually and collectively — are... Read more
IPR succeeds with McAllen summer ‘experiment’
RIO RICO, AZ — This summer IPR Fresh, headquartered here, expanded its business with a successful first-time experiment of consolidating in, and shipping through, McAllen, TX, according to Jose Luis Obregon, company president. IPR worked for three months in McAllen. Obregon said the firm provided consolidation services to customers and shipped commodities that were new to IPR that typically have been shipped through McAllen. These included avocados, limes, papayas... Read more
New staff, developments at Wholesum
NOGALES, AZ — New staff members are among a variety of developments emerging at Wholesum Family Farms Inc. Steve LeFevre, the firm’s sales manager, said Wholesum has hired Jessie Gunn to be its marketing specialist. Francisco Parra, who spent about 15 years at Safeway, has become a new salesperson and Denisse Sanchez has been named the firm’s sales coordinator. LeFevre also said Wholesum will begin construction in January to add six new acres of greenhouse tomato... Read more
“We are excited to begin harvesting Chinese eggplant grown on our farm in Retalhuleu, Guatemala, with our production season starting in December and running through May,” said Marc Holbik, director of grower relations for Ecoripe Tropicals in Medley, FL. “This variety of specialty eggplant is less bitter with a very thin edible skin and an elongated shape.” Ecoripe Tropicals’ Chinese eggplant is packed in 30-pound boxes, 48 boxes to a pallet. When stored at 50... Read more
L&M Cos. adds mature green tomatoes to Nogales product lineup
L&M Cos., which is based in Raleigh, NC, and has branch operations in Nogales, AZ, and several other locations around the country, will be adding mature green tomatoes to its lineup of offerings out of West Mexico for the winter season this year, according to John McDaniel, sales and operations director for the Nogales office. The mature greens will be coming from Sinaloa and were expected to start about mid-December, continuing throughout the winter and wrapping... Read more
“We had a very strong Thanksgiving pull and we’re looking forward to a strong remaining holiday season,” Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties, a leading grower, importer and distributor of specialty produce, told The Produce News. “We continue to receive asparagus from Peru and will open our Mexican deal in early January,” he continued. “We offer asparagus in a wide variety of value-added options, with sizes that are ideal... Read more
Honeybear Brands gears up to launch new apple variety this holiday season
With the holidays fast approaching, Honeybear Brands — the marketing division of Wescott Agri-Products, a grower, producer and distributor of premium apples and pears — is gearing up to bring consumers a new apple variety, as well as its classic fan favorites. “We were the first company growing Honeycrisp in Washington state over 20 years ago and you can still expect the best Honeycrisp from our company throughout the holiday season,” said Don Roper, vice president... Read more
Giorgio Fresh prepping for business crunch that the winter holidays present
“We see that each market we service has different consumer demands based on a variety of options for holiday meals,” said Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager for Giorgio Fresh, headquartered in Temple, PA. “Historically, we have seen an overall increase in mushroom product sales throughout the winter holidays as consumers see mushrooms as a prominent side dish to complement their holiday meals.” Litvin explained that because mushrooms... Read more
RBest Produce continuously and completely stocked with holiday favorites
While any time of the year is a great time for conventional and organic produce favorites, during the winter months, RBest Produce Inc., headquartered in Port Washington, NY, and its sister company, El Sol Brands, in Medley, FL, are continuously stocked with fresh conventional and organic holiday favorites. To whet any pallet, the companies offer sweet potatoes, celery, varieties of lettuces, apple varieties, cranberries, pomegranates and sweet Florida citruses,... Read more
Bartolotta’s western vegetable deal in full swing
“Our western vegetable deal picked up immensely the minute the northeastern movement began to slow down around the beginning of October,” Kevin Bartolotta, president of Bartolotta Inc. in Torrington, CT, told The Produce News. “The only exceptions are eastern potatoes, onions and a few other commodity items.” Industry associates started calling Bartolotta the “Celery King” several years ago, and he decided to turn it into his company brand name. Today he continues... Read more
J.C. Watson shipping  ‘best quality crop of Spanish Sweets seen in a long time’
Citing cutting-edge farming methods that include total drip irrigation and precise input management, Jon Watson, president of J.C. Watson Packing Co. in Parma, ID, said the 2014 season has “the best-quality crop of Spanish Sweets I’ve seen in a long time.” Watson, third generation in a family operation that celebrated its century mark in 2012, said challenges presented themselves, but “we actually have a very good crop, not a small crop, and best quality I’ve seen... Read more
Snake River Produce’s Spanish Sweets quality and sizing good
Snake River Produce General Manager Kay Riley predicted in early September that the 2014 crop of Treasure Valley Spanish Sweets would be of excellent quality, and in November he confirmed his assessment had proven to be correct. “Our quality is very good this year, and most of our business is repeat, so our customers are quite happy,” Riley said. He went on to say, “We have a good range of sizes this year. Some lots are smaller, and some are bigger. We have adequate... Read more
Champion Produce Sales  welcomes holiday flurry of activity
Record cold in the Treasure Valley of Idaho-Eastern Oregon has done nothing to slow the staff at Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, where the holidays have set the pace. “We love the holidays,” Champion President John Wong said in mid-November. “In continuing the 60-year tradition of supplying our delicious Spanish Sweets to consumers, we are really looking forward to the holiday season. Our onions are such a common ingredient in so many holiday and winter ‘comfort... Read more
With the change in seasons comes a change in production regions as Prime Time International, headquartered in Coachella, CA, begins to source some of its signature green and colored pepper crop from West Mexico through its Nogales office and warehouse. Marketing Manager Mike Aiton told The Produce News on Nov. 17 that mainland Mexico — the West Mexico growing region in Sinaloa — would be a major source of supply for the firm from late November into April. “We are... Read more
Bayshore’s Mike Ryan anticipating good fruit from Chile
Thanks to a good growing season in Chile, Miami-based Bayshore Produce is expecting excellent crops of good-quality Chilean stone fruit and grapes for the upcoming season. A peach blossom in Quillota, Chile, at full bloom stage. Miami-based Bayshore Produce is expecting excellent crops of good-quality Chilean peaches, plum, nectarines and grapes for the upcoming season. (Photo courtesy of Bayshore Produce) “We anticipate better quality and larger-sized stone fruit... Read more
Supreme Cuts excited about upcoming New York show
MAHWAH, NJ — Merle Axelrod, president of Supreme Cuts, here, is “very excited” about the upcoming New York Produce Show & Conference, as it gives her company a chance to showcase its innovative products right in its own backyard. “The New York show is always a good show,” she told The Produce News on the afternoon of Nov. 3 at her office here in suburban New Jersey, about 30 miles from New York City. “We’re looking forward to the new venue,” she added, referring... Read more
New York Produce Show  provides great opportunity  for Spice World
“The New York Produce Show is a good expo,” said Louis Hymel, director of purchasing and marketing for Spice World Inc., headquartered in Orlando, FL. “It provides us with a great opportunity to see many of our customers in the region,” he said. “We invite all visitors to see our wide selection of products at Booth No. 477.” Spice World has a long family tradition in the garlic and spice categories. The company was founded in 1949 by Andy Caneza, and it is still... Read more
Vick Family Farms BCA fundraiser sells 50,000 boxes, raises $5,000
Vick Family Farms met its ambitious goal to sell 50,000 boxes of sweet potatoes in special pink Breast Cancer Awareness cartons in October to benefit a local breast cancer project. October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. “We had a great response, and we’ll repeat the project in March 2015,” said Charlotte D. Vick, partner and director of sales and marketing for the grower.Charlotte Vick In October 2013, Vick Farms sold 24,000 40-pound boxes of its “Pure Gold”... Read more