COMPANY PROFILES

Bernard Egan & Co. proudly celebrates 100 years in business
Bernard Egan & Co., headquartered in Fort Pierce, FL, is celebrating 100 years of success as a family-owned-and-operated business growing and marketing fresh citrus. Founded in 1914, the company has provided many generations of customers with high-quality fresh citrus from around the world. “We are very proud to be the largest marketer and shipper of fresh citrus from around the world,” said President Greg Nelson.Bernard Egan with Miss Citrus in a photo from... Read more
Turek Farms strives to exceed expectations in quality and service
With a mission to exceed its customers expectations in quality and service, King Ferry, NY-based Turek Farms is constantly improving its company, systems, products and services. “We’ve done a bunch of new construction, changed our docks around, and we’re in the process of building an ice plant to service some sweet corn,” said Jason Turek, a partner in Turek Farms and its marketing arm, Cayuga Produce Inc. Turek Farms grows and ships sweet corn, green beans, summer... Read more
Colorful blueberry season shaping up at Rainier
Rainier Fruit Co. continues to supply consumers with the highest quality blueberries grown the Pacific Northwest. Blake Belknap, organic sales manger, said the stage is set for another successful season. All of Rainier Fruit Co.’s blueberries are farmed organically. Although field buffers are packed as conventional to maintain certification integrity, 95 percent of the company’s volume is organic. (Photo courtesy of Rainier Fruit Co.)“We came through one of the... Read more
Black Gold Farms kicks off red potato harvest in southeastern Missouri
Black Gold Farms, a fourth-generation family farm based in Grand Forks, ND, that grows, ships and markets a variety of potatoes and other commodities, kicked off its fresh red potato harvest in southeastern Missouri the last week of June. The first few days of harvest has shown a lot of promise for this year’s red potato crop. With excellent quality in the fields and manageable weather, Black Gold Farms anticipates a very successful season. John Halverson “I’m... Read more
Heath & Lejeune: veterans in organic sales
Organic produce is clearly a growth item and many wholesalers have added an organic category to their product list. Heath & Lejeune, a Los Angeles-based distributor, is not in this Johnny-come-lately category. “We’ve been specializing in organic produce for the last 20 years,” said CEO Rick Lejeune. And while the company’s list of customers cut across all sectors, they do much of their business also with established organic retailers and wholesalers that have... Read more
Origami variety fuels Legend Produce’s melon growth
Legend Produce LLC, which grows melons from many districts but is headquartered in Glendale, CA, is anticipating a 30-35 percent increase in its San Joaquin Valley melon crop this year because of the popularity of its proprietary Origami variety. “We will be up considerably this year because the Origami was so well-received last year,” said Barry Zwillinger, who is the owner of the company. He sang the praises of this variety, on which Legend has an exclusive... Read more
Customized service key for Indianapolis Fruit
The successful philosophy of Indianapolis Fruit Co. Inc. is to offer a flexible approach for the firm’s retail customers to serve their customer base, according to Greg Corsaro, president of the company. A specific example of such flexibility is the firm’s spring-to-fall offering of locally or regionally produced fresh produce. The firm has streamlined local product offerings from the days of backdoor deliveries to implementing strict food-safety requirements on... Read more
Socially responsible Turbana stays transparent in partnerships with retailers and consumers
As a socially responsible, grower-owned company, Turbana realizes that sustainability of its crop and the people who produce it is paramount to continued success. Turbana focuses on creating win-win partnerships with retailers and their communities that seek not only to promote positive change, but also to provide a boost to the sales of its retail partners. “Our bananas transform lives” said Marketing Director Marion Tabard.“That’s our reason, our purpose, what... Read more
Giorgio Fresh monitoring growing organic mushroom trend
Giorgio Fresh, a leading mushroom producer headquartered in Temple, PA, offers a full line of organic mushrooms including whole and sliced white, Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms. It recently increased its organic offerings by adding organic sliced Baby Bella, whole and sliced Shiitake, Maitake, Beech, and Royal Trumpet varieties. Giorgio Fresh’s organic mushrooms are produced primarily at its farms in Berks County, PA.“The organic mushroom market continues to... Read more
Blues coming on strong at Dandrea Produce
Dandrea Produce Inc., in Vineland, NJ, has blueberries coming on June 15 to 16, and they are coming on strong. The company, a leading producer, importer, marketing firm and distributor of a full line of fruits and vegetables from around the world, has 15 growing partners in New Jersey producing blueberries. Steve Dandrea, vice president of sales and marketing, told The Produce News that the crops this year look very good and are abundant in volumes. “We’ve enjoyed... Read more
Chuck Olsen Co. anticipates good quality and volume
As part of the Chuck Olsen Co. year-round program, early San Joaquin Valley grapes are expected to complement fruit coming out of Mexico and Coachella, according to company President Jeff Olsen. “We’ve seen a cooler spring, and the fruit looks very good,” Olsen said in late May. “It’s a matter now of how we finish them off. Water is a factor, of course, but the overall quality should be very good.” Jeff OlsenHe added, “Right now we’re seeing excellent quality... Read more
The Freshwave expecting increased  volume of New Jersey blueberries
VINELAND, NJ — Consalo Family Farms is expecting to handle more volume of New Jersey blueberries in the 2015 season than it did last season, according to Tom Consalo, vice president of The Freshwave, which is the sole marketer of all products grown by Consalo Family Farms. As to the timing of this year’s crop, “Right now we’re looking at [starting] a few days earlier than last year,” Consalo told The Produce News Tuesday afternoon, May 26, at the company’s office... Read more
Vignolo Farms and Top Brass receive Non-GMO Project Verification
Vignolo Farms/Top Brass announced that their California-grown grapes and potatoes are now Non-GMO Project Verified, underscoring the 75-year-old family farm’s dedication to today’s consumer.  “Research shows that a majority of Americans are very concerned about genetically modified organisms in their food, which is why we are committed to meeting and exceeding consumers’ expectations with our fresh fruits and vegetables,” Brett Dixon, president of Top Brass,... Read more
Crown Jewels expecting earlier SJV season
Looking at another early start to the San Joaquin Valley grape season, Atomic Torosian, partner in Crown Jewels Produce LLC in Fresno, CA, said Flames will likely start June 16-20, with Superior Sugraones coming of the southern part of the valley June 26. “That’s the talk right now,” Torosian said in late May. Crown Jewels partners Rob Mathias and Atomic Torosian.Crown Jewels, which started in 1989 and has grower deals not only in the San Joaquin Valley but... Read more
Babé Farms bringing fresh specialty vegetables to the nation’s tables
The creation of Babé Farms Specialties can be credited to its visionary founder, Will Souza, a third-generation farmer from a pioneer farm family in the Santa Maria Valley, CA. With over 600 SKUs and growing, it is one of the busiest specialty vegetable farming operations on the West Coast. While in Europe in the early 1980s, Souza, who is an avid traveler, noticed the popularity of delicate salad greens called “mesclun” and mini baby-size vegetables.A bright,... Read more
Peri: ‘We’re in the size profile we need for  our retail customers’
With more than 100 years of experience and three generations of family members serving at its helm, Peri & Sons Farms knows what it takes to move premium onions to the marketplace. The company is headquartered in Yerington, NV, and has growing operations in Central and Southern California. “Peri & Sons Farms has been practicing ‘green’ farming for over 15 years. For us, sustainable farming is not a trend or a buzz-word; it is a long-term, deeply personal... Read more
Heartland providing safe local produce
KENOSHA, WI — Among the challenges and opportunities of Heartland Produce Co. is providing retail customers in Wisconsin and northern Illinois with safe local produce. Third-generation family member Ryan Dietz, director of business development, said his customers’ demand for local items is very strong. Heartland wants to assure its customers that their local foods are safe for consumers. “For a lot of local growers, inspections for food safety and GAPs are hard... Read more
CHICAGO — Across South Blue Island Avenue from the gates of the Chicago International Produce Market is a cheerfully painted business front. The colorful art presenting Blue Island Wholesale Produce Inc. stands out along a drab and dusty industrial street. Daniel Suarez, who started the company, was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1951. His family immigrated to Chicago and his father worked on the South Water Street Market for 30 years. There, in the late 1970s,... Read more
Standard Market sets high standard
WESTMONT, IL — There was undoubtedly a good reason for naming what is now a two-store supermarket chain “Standard Market.” But if there is one criticism that could be made of the stores, it’s the misnomer. For example, standard groceries have the “center of store” surrounded by perishables on the perimeter. Here, the center of the Standard Market is an upscale restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The fare of the Standard Market Grill is gourmet, using the... Read more
CHEP introduces Solutions Portfolio
CHEP, a global leader in supply chain management solutions, is launching a series of high value-add services to help companies in the consumer goods manufacturing, fresh food, grocery and retail industries optimize their supply chains and support the development of corporate social responsibility programs. The Solutions Portfolio, which is being announced at the Food Marketing Institute Connect Conference in Chicago this week, is available immediately in North America. The... Read more