Business updates: Los Angeles Know Your Market

07/26/2013 10:22:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Fruit Distributing Corp. celebrates 55 years

Commerce, Calif.-based Fruit Distributing Corp. of California is turning 55 in August, said Jeff Weisfeld, owner and president.

His father, Harold Weisfeld, moved to San Francisco from Texas in 1953 then came to Los Angeles in 1958, where he set up shop as H. Weisfeld Corp., a buying broker.

Thanks to his Texas connections, he became the first broker to bring Texas grapefruit and Texas valencia oranges to California, Jeff Weisfeld said.

The company assumed its current name around 1960. Jeff Weisfeld started working at the firm in 1985 and assumed the reins in 1998. Harold Weisfeld, 83, still comes into the office every day.

The company’s major commodities are Texas citrus, potatoes, onions tomatoes and Mexican winter vegetables.

Also at Fruit Distributing, Sean Hire will return to head up the deciduous fruit department after a 1.5-year stint at Unified Grocers in Commerce. John Elibarri, who is new to the produce industry, joined the company as a salesman and will focus on Texas citrus.

Great West Re-Pack now its own company

Commerce, Calif.-based Great West Produce has formally created a separate company for its repack division — Vernon, Calif.-based Great West Re-Pack — said chief executive officer Paul Villa. Headed up by Jeff Johnson, the division, which has been around for five or six years, now offers its services to other companies.

“Other wholesalers, importers and growers are starting to use us,” Villa said.

The company repacks onions and citrus into consumer packs and can pack avocados or any hard-skin product.

Harvest Sensations delivers specialties

Los Angeles-based Harvest Sensations LLC has been achieving success in the retail segment with fresh herbs, beans and kale salads, said Terri Fletcher, director of foodservice and retail business development.

However, the majority of the firm’s business is on the foodservice side, where the company focuses on all specialties, including asparagus, beans, herbs and specialty potatoes.

Interfresh adds staff, grape program

Interfresh Inc., Orange, Calif., has hired three salespeople, said president Chris Puentes. Brian Campos and Yadira Gonzales, most recently with Producers Choice LLC, Los Angeles, now are part of the company’s sales staff and will focus on the company’s melon program. Interfresh offers cantaloupes, honeydews and mixed melons.



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