Business Updates: Know Your Market Northern California - The Packer

Business Updates: Know Your Market Northern California

10/07/2013 11:14:00 AM
Tom Burfield and Vicky Boyd

Bay Area Produce enters 40th year

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Bay Area Produce is about to start its 40th year, said Bob Loyst, executive vice president.

The company was established in 1974 in San Jose, Calif., moved to Los Gatos two years later and established a branch in Nogales, Ariz., in 1989, where it imports produce from Mexico, has a 50,000-square-foot warehouse and offers one-stop shop and consolidation services.

The company serves customers nationwide with a product line that includes cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, Italian squash and some melons.

Bay Area Herbs doubles cooler space

Bay Area Herbs & Specialties on Golden Gate Produce Terminal in South San Francisco, Calif., is growing rapidly, expanding selling space by about 30% and nearly doubling refrigeration space.

In addition, the wholesaler of culinary herbs and other specialty produce items recently passed a third-party food safety audit with a 98% rating, said owner and president Steve Hurwitz.

The expansion was prompted by increasing demand for fresh produce items within the region, which is also part of a national trend, he said.

“The statistics are now out about obesity in young children, and they’re showing that the trend is starting to reverse itself in a positive way,” Hurwitz said. “They’re eating healthier, and fruits and vegetables are being consumed more.”

FPFC reaches out to Northern California

It’s been more than a decade since the La Mirada, Calif.-based Fresh Produce & Floral Council began expanding its reach to provide business and social networking opportunities in the Northern California market, said president Carissa Mace.

Starting with two membership luncheons per year, the FPFC has since added an annual golf tournament, the Northern California Fresh Produce & Floral Expo and most recently a bocce ball tournament.

Through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, the FPFC has provided salad bars to schools in seven Northern California communities, she said.

Northern California-based companies now make up about 25% of the council’s membership, and the region is represented by six directors on the FPFC board.

Fresh Green launches Asian organic veggies

Fresh Green Inc. on the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market has launched an organic Asian vegetable program, said owner Steve Chen.

At first, the program will offer selected Asian organic items like gai lon, yu choi, baby bok choi and shanghai bok choy.

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