Northwest business updates - The Packer

Northwest business updates

07/12/2013 02:10:00 PM
Jim Offner

Portland, Ore.-based Rinella Produce has expanded its delivery routes and upgraded its services, said David Rinella, owner.

“A lot of people make cutbacks on routes and pull back on service, and we went the other way,” he said.

Rinella Produce now has a “coast route” that stretches about 150-160 miles, along which the company has added deliveries, Rinella said.

“We went from two days a week to three to five days a week to give better services and pick up more business,” Rinella said.

The change, which took effect in mid-June, brought immediate payback, Rinella said.

“Last week, for the first week, it seemed to do about $3,000 more gross sales and two or three new accounts because we’re paying more attention,” he said.

Sterino Farms Produce Market opens

Sterino Farms Produce Market reopened in a new 5,000-square-foot store May 1 in Puyallup, Wash.

The stand replaces one closed in 2006, when Sterino Farms closed it and sold the land.

Sterino Farms began operations 90 years ago when Michael Sterino immigrated to the U.S. The growing operation he started near Tacoma, Wash., is one of the region’s largest growers of produce for the region’s consumers of “homegrown” markets.

Sterino Farms encompasses 800 acres, with some in Fife, Wash. and Ording, Wash., about 15 miles away, said Tom Robb, sales director. Jake Sterino, great-grandson of the founder, runs the operation now, which sells berries, corn, pumpkins, lettuce, cabbage and other items to grocery store chains and independent markets from Canada to Portland, Ore.

CF Fresh becomes Viva Tierra

Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based shipper CF Fresh, which specializes in organic fruit, has changed its name to Viva Tierra Inc.

The change, which occurred April 1, stems from the company’s desire to “consolidate its image,” said Matt Roberts, sales manager.

“We had different brands, different names,” he said.

There were no personnel changes, Roberts said.

“We’re solidifying our name, but we’ll still have labels for smaller growers,” he said.

Even as CF Fresh, the company for the last several years has packed its product chiefly under the Viva Tierra label, anyway, Roberts said.

“It was just time to bring it all together. People did not know who CF Fresh was anymore,” he said.

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