SALINAS, Calif. — GreenGate Fresh LLLP will take over operations of Metz Fresh LLC May 7 in a deal that adds spinach, spring mix and arugula to GreenGate’s product mix.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Salinas-based GreenGate Fresh will continue to ship products under the Metz Fresh label, said Jay Iverson, vice president of sales and marketing.
“We’re taking on the sales people, the brand and the packaging,” Iverson said. Metz Fresh’s Marty Howington, Jimmy Willrodt and Jeanette Hertzler will now sell for GreenGate Fresh.
King City-based Metz Fresh’s three tender leaf products come in about a dozen different pack styles, distributed nationwide and in Canada. For foodservice processor-shipper GreenGate Fresh, the deal marks a move into retail.
“We didn’t have any retail presence before,” Iverson said. “Now we’ll have a little bit of retail and club-store presence.”
Andrew Cumming, Metz Fresh president, will supply GreenGate Fresh as a grower but has no management role there, Iverson said.
“This arrangement … allows us to focus on our core expertise of managing the growing and harvesting of tender leaf products with GreenGate Fresh as our operational partner,” Cumming said in a news release.
“GreenGate Fresh can grow our business by offering current customers more products and introducing our value, service and quality to new customers,” Robby Barkley, chief executive officer, said in the release.
Four partners — Barkley, Iverson, Travis Pendleton and Keith Bazabal — founded GreenGate Fresh in 2010. At the time, the company’s offerings included 5- and 10-pound bags of salad mix, chopped romaine and slaws. The slaws were made with romaine, iceberg, two colors of cabbage and carrots.
“We’ve been growing at a rate of about 18% to 19% a month since we started,” Iverson said May 4.