(Sept. 10, 12:17 p.m.) Peter Sticco, founder of Coast to Coast Produce LLC, Cheshire, Conn., died Sept. 1 after a long battle with cancer. He was 55.

“He was a great person, he was a man of integrity, he demanded and got nothing but the best from everyone. He was one-of-a-kind,” said accounting and human resources manager for Coast to Coast Beverly Grove.

Sticco started in the produce industry as a youth at Peter Sticco and Sons, his father’s farm in Orange, Conn.

In 1974 he joined wholesale grocer Bozzuto’s Inc., Cheshire, as produce director. In 1985 he left to start his own company.

Active in Coast to Coast until just before his death, he built the company from the ground up, as a grower, shipper and distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables with satellite offices in Everett, Mass., Monterey, Calif., and Bakersfield, Calif., Grove said.

Sticco was recipient of several professional awards and recognitions including the Adam Bozzuto Award in 2007, Grove said.

Coast to Coast Produce founder dies