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Keystone Fruit Marketing hopes to build relationships at NYPS

By
Keith Loria

Since 1977, Keystone Fruit Marketing has been providing its customers with the finest fresh produce year-round and has earned a reputation for building strong relationships with its clients and growers through trust and integrity.

This year’s virtual New York Produce show is especially important, as it is giving the people at Keystone an opportunity to connect with clients as the world quarantines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As with the virtual PMA, we are anxious to see what the virtual New York Produce Show brings,” said Andrea Scroggs, sales and marketing manager for Greencastle, PA-based-Keystone Fruit Marketing. “It’s important for us to continue these events and stay connected to our valued customers and our colleagues in the industry.”

While the company is continuing its participation in the event, the run-up to this year’s show has been quite different from the usual.

“Normally we are preparing our travel plans and preparing for a few days away from the office, but this year we are strategizing on how to best reach our audience virtually and ensure we are communicating seamlessly,” Scroggs said. “Usually we get to see quite a few of our East Coast customers and grower partners at this show. It provides an opportunity to get face-to-face time and provide information about our sweet onion program, apple program, etc.”

Keystone Fruit Marketing got its start when Bob Evans and Marvin Carbaugh began marketing local Pennsylvania apples under the name Keystone Fruit Sales in November of 1977. Its first grower, El Vista Orchards in Fairfield, PA, remains one of its growing partners to this day. In the 1980s, the company started marketing peaches for several growers in the south.

A big step came in 1991, when the company became the first in the country to import sweet onions from Peru through its Mayan Sweets line. Another onion was added to its line when it started marketing Vidalia onions from Cowart Farms in Lyons, GA in 2004. Watermelons joined their products in 2013 when Keystone partnered with John Loos Farms and Sageland Farms in Washington.

Another key development came in 2006 when Keystone and Progressive Produce teamed up to market asparagus from Peru and worked on other areas or production as well. That led to a 2017 merger with Progressive Produce.

Another important arm of the organization is the Keystone Kitchen with Chef Dave, in which Dave Munson offers fresh ideas and recipes that are designed to help customers broaden their tastes and hone their talents in the kitchen.

Those kinds of creative initiatives, along with outstanding products and the highest standards of customer service, have helped make Keystone Fruit Marketing the success it is.

 

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