COMPANY PROFILES

Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., headquartered in Cheriton, VA, is well on its way on its seasonal crop transition from Florida to Georgia. Northampton President Calvert Cullen told The Produce News April 22 that Georgia cabbage, the only exception, was running a little late. “Cabbage normally comes on first in Georgia, as it does in all our growing regions, but the harsh winter set the crop back a little this year,” said Cullen. “It normally starts around... Read more
Frieda’s Inc. celebrates  53 years of excellence
Frieda’s Inc., which markets approximately 600 specialty items during the course of a year, reached a milestone on April 2. “We just celebrated our 53rd company anniversary today, which makes us the first specialty produce company in the U.S.,” said Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer. “Actually, some people say our founder, Frieda Caplan, invented the category,” she continued. On April 2, Frieda’s Inc. celebrated its 53rd anniversary bringing... Read more
Diversity,  category  management drive  Robinson Fresh sales
Robinson Fresh has developed a formula for success when it comes to distribution of watermelons. “Robinson Fresh sources melons grown throughout North, Central, and South America as well as Europe, making this a truly global category for the company as we strive toward global year-round production on all continents,” Category General Manager Josh Knox told The Produce News. Robinson Fresh continues to support cause marketing through its MelonUp! Pink Ribbon watermelon... Read more
Pioneering O-G Packing continues its innovative ways with cherries
In 1954 Al Gotelli invented and patented the first in-line mechanical cluster cutter to separate the stems of cherries. Though it has been improved incrementally over the years, the basic concept is still used today, 60 years later. “We revolutionized the industry then with assembly line packing and we did it again when we first introduced the optical sorting system,” said Daniel Moznett, who is director of marketing at Grower Direct Marketing LLC, the Stockton,... Read more
Positive outlook  for MAS’ melons
With a start on the early side, the Mexican grape deal will enjoy a relatively long season, according to Miguel (Miky) Suarez, a partner in MAS Melons & Grapes, LLC, based in Rio Rico, AZ. In MAS’ conference room, Miguel (Miky) Suarez, a partner in the firm, stands with an honorary piece given to him by Japanese clients. MAS will start shipping green grapes from Hermosillo, Sonora, about May 5 and will end the deal in Caborca in the last week of June. Depending... Read more
Southern Selects specialty produce exceeding consumer trends
There are categories in the specialty fresh produce industry that are showing real strength today. And Pompano Beach-headquartered Southern Specialties is on top of them. Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for the Pompano Beach-based company, told The Produce News that the trends continue to evolve in several different directions. “We’re seeing an ongoing increase in the demand for convenience, nutrition and flavor,” explained Eagle. Southern... Read more
Hapco Farms ready for start of domestic watermelon program
Hapco Farms is looking forward to the start of its domestic watermelon deal, with product from south Florida expected to begin shipping late April. Raquel Mello, who is in watermelon sales for the Riverhead, NY-based company, said that Florida melons have gotten off to a slow start this year due to colder-than-normal temperatures. Hapco is currently shipping Mexican and offshore melons. “Our domestic melon program will run from late April through Labor Day, and... Read more
Southern Specialties, headquartered in Pompano Beach, FL, is moving blueberries steadily this season. Geno Valdes, vice president of sales and marketing for the company, said that the Florida movement marks the start of the domestic season. “The Florida movement will continue as we transition to North Carolina over the next month,” Valdes said on March 25. “We’re staying predominantly with six-ounce clamshells until the end of April. Then we expect to move into... Read more
Freshway Foods launches its new website
Freshway Foods has launched a redesigned website. The new website features more in-depth information about the company’s products and services, as well as useful reference information about fresh produce. The URL of the site — www.freshwayfoods.com — has not changed. “The new website better represents the full line of products and services we offer to foodservice and retail operators, from menu ideation through delivery of the product to our customers’ facilities,”... Read more
Northampton Growers anticipating strong bump in business
The short cold snap that swept across Florida in February did have some negative effect on field crops, but according to Calvert Cullen, president of Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., headquartered in Cheriton, VA, by April 1 the new crop will be shipping and is expected to be high quality and with good volumes. “Squash had some issues because the cold shortens — or weakens — the shelf life,” said Cullen. “Peppers had some bloom effect. We were somewhat limited... Read more
King Farms on schedule with Florida spring programs
Steve Oldock, owner of King Farms, headquartered in Naples, FL, told The Produce News that the company’s Florida spring crops are on schedule this year. “There were a few little breaks in action due to previous weather occurrences, but now we have really warm days and so we expect to be back on schedule real quick,” Oldock said in mid-March. “Conditions are balancing out. You move along with Mother Nature in this business and she snaps back quickly when there’s... Read more
OriginO sees good production in 2015 organic greenhouse season
With British Columbia’s organic greenhouse English cucumber season well underway, Raymond Wong said on March 23 he is expecting beefsteak and tomatoes-on-the-vine as well as red, yellow and orange bell peppers to start shipping by early April. Wong, president of Origin Organic Farms in Delta, B.C., said the greenhouse season will run through November, and he noted a mild winter leading into 2015’s initial shipping made for somewhat early product and also exceptional... Read more
Kurt Zuhlke & Associates educating trade on the diverse uses for its PETE clamshell
Kurt Zuhlke Jr., owner and president of Kurt Zuhlke & Associates Inc., recognizes how customers and consumers alike have embraced the company’s 100 percent recyclable earth-friendly PETE clamshells, and now he’s out to demonstrate the many ways they can be used for fresh produce. “The clamshells we produce with perhaps one use in mind are great for a multitude of fresh produce items,” said Zuhlke. “For example, clamshells designed for grape tomatoes can easily... Read more
RIO RICO, AZ — Omega Produce Co. Inc. is exporting Mexican honeydew throughout North America and to Japan in April and May. Company founder George Gotsis said in mid-March that the company will be shipping five- and six-count honeydew packages under the “Omega” brand. “The quality was very good last year and it should get better this year,” Gotsis said The melons will be coming out of Hermosillo, Sonora. Read more
Perfect storm conditions during the current growing season will translate to quality watermelon volume for Kid’s Choice Fresh Produce Inc. “Promotions are running strong,” owner and President Tom Glenos told The Produce News. “Orders are coming in quickly.” Kid’s Choice has business relationships with growers in Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Michigan and Texas. The manifest includes both seeded and seedless watermelons as well as the black-rind “Imagination” specialty... Read more
The Sykes Co. will have a fast Mexican watermelon deal this spring. Bill Sykes said his firm, which is based in Rio Rico, AZ, is shipping 90 acres of seedless watermelons out of Hermosillo from April 6 until May 15. “We’ve had good weather and they’re a little early,” said Sykes, who started the firm in 1978. The deal “is always shipped in bins,” he noted. Read more
Westmoreland ‘TopLine’ greenhouse vegetables sending consistent message
Westmoreland Sales “TopLine,” headquartered in Leamington, Ontario, continues to send out a consistent message about its “TopLine” brand of greenhouse produce. “Our greenhouse vegetables are always the freshest, most flavorful and grower-direct gourmet greenhouse produce available in today’s marketplace,” said Jimmy Coppola, account and marketing manager for Westmoreland. “We will be showcasing some new items from our ‘Gourmet Dippers’ and our ‘Gourmet Browns’... Read more
Horizons expand and traditions live on at Bayshore Vegetable Shippers in Burlington
Building on a legacy established in 1929 when the seeds of Bayshore Vegetable Shippers in Burlington, Ontario, were both literally and figuratively planted, company President Valerie Fracchioni and staff remain dedicated to the principles of good flavor and freshness in their product line. The company, which includes Valerie’s brother, Ernie, as vice president and Marco Bertucci in sales, represents more than 100 local growers and provides Canadian produce for... Read more
Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., headquartered in Oviedo, FL, is reporting that all of the company’s Florida spring crops are on schedule with no notable weather events. Jason Bedsole, eastern sales manager for Duda, said, “We are shipping celery, organic celery, cello radishes, value-added radishes, Romaine, Romaine hearts, cello lettuce, green leaf, red leaf, endive and escarole. All products are grown, packed and shipping out of the Belle Glade Farm in Florida.” Duda... Read more
Spring means watermelon, sweet corn and  asparagus for Scotlynn Sweet-Pac Growers
As consumers begin bursting from their doors to enjoy the warm spring air, produce companies that produce and ship typical spring and summer crops will inevitably feel a strong push. Scotlynn Sweet-Pac Growers LLC produces sweet corn, and it is a good example of a company that will likely reap the benefits of spring following the long, extremely cold winter storms that — one after another — swept across the nation. “Our Florida spring sweet corn crop looks... Read more