Always innovating in new and exciting ways, Rice Fruit Co, headquartered in Gardners, PA, will feature its new clear tote bag at the New York Produce Show tradeshow floor on Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Javits Center Hall 1C in New York City.
“Our team will be at Booth No. 434 at the show,” said Brenda Briggs, vice president of sales and marketing for the 100-plus year established apple grower. “The new tote bag was designed to let the fruit advertise itself while offering a farm stand feeling and just a hint of our Rice branding.”
There is much more excitement for Briggs and her team to share with visitors to the NYPS. One year ago, Rice Fruit formed a new partnership with Ocean Crisp Apple Company in Nova Scotia, Canada, naming it the exclusive marketer of its premium Honeycrisp apples in the United States.
“Ocean Crisp Apple is an excellent grower and its team is comprised of fabulous people,” noted Briggs. “Together we offer Honeycrisp apples from August through April.”
Rice Fruit Co. is a family run business which was founded by Arthur Rice in 1913. However, the Rice family has been growing apples in Adams County since Daniel Rice arrived as a young German immigrant in the 1790s.
It is located in the picturesque foothills of South Mountain in rural Adams County in the heart of Pennsylvania’s apple country. Like other small farmers in the area, Daniel Rice and his descendants grew apple trees in this eastern-most region of the Appalachians. This region has ideal soils and topography that forms effective micro-climates for growing many kinds of fruit.
With these valuable qualities, a commercial fruit growing industry began to develop in the 1900s. Throughout the several decades since its founding, Rice Fruit shipped apples worldwide.
In 1955, Arthur Rice, Jr. built a new packing facility in Gardners, which remains the site of its operations today. He also formed a partnership with William Lott to form R&L Orchards Co. to grow high-quality fruit to be packed by Rice Fruit. The partnership between the Rice and Lott families continues to this day.
Until recently, Rice Fruit Co. was managed by Arthur Jr’s four sons; David, Ted; John and; Mark. Today, Rice’s strong management team includes members of the next generation.
In 2017, Briggs took over leadership of Rice Fruit’s sales department from John Rice who then embraced a fruitful retirement.
The company has always, and continues to be, bullish on the New York Produce Show. Briggs said the company has exhibited at it since its inception.
“This is a great show for us,” she said. “It solidifies relationships we have with our loyal and long-standing following in the city and the eastern region of the country.
“The show provides an opportunity to show-off our beautiful Eastern grown fruit and our packaging options,” continued Briggs. “We love the size and energy of the New York Produce Show. It’s exciting to be among so many people who are passionate about produce and healthy living.”