Botsford & Goodfellow pushes locally grown

Federal Way, Wash.-based Botsford & Goodfellow Inc. has tweaked its business model of late, said Ron Escene, manager.

“We’re trying to market more locally grown stuff, turning more into a farming-style business, as compared to a brokering-style business,” he said.

“Retail has gone away from just brokering to buying directly from growers,” Escene said. “We’ve tried building ourselves up with more growers.”

Bridges Produce reaches 10 years

Portland, Ore.-based organics distributor Bridges Produce is marking its 10th anniversary in business this year.

Ben Johnson, then a 10-year organic produce industry veteran, opened the company May 15, 2002.

This year, the company has hired Dan Musser, formerly of the Clackamas, Ore., office of Eugene, Ore.-based Organically Grown Co. to handle sales.

United Salad starts Mary’s Harvest Fresh

Duck Delivery/ United Salad Co., Portland, Ore., is hoping to fill a growing niche for prepared meals through a newly formed company, Mary’s Harvest Fresh Foods LLC, Portland.

“We see a need because our retailers are looking for deli and replacement meals and grab and go,” said Ernie Spada Jr., owner.

Mary’s Harvest Fresh was scheduled to open July 15.

The company has spent $6 million in the project, including a $4 million buying and retrofitting a 45,000-square-foot building about eight blocks from the company’s main office/warehouse complex, Spada said.

The company’s plans for the operation include processing fresh fruits and vegetables. The new business includes a 6,000-square-foot kitchen for salads, sandwiches and “a full line of grab-and-goes,” Spada said.

Charisse Spada, sister of Ernie Spada Jr., is president of the new company, which is to have a distribution area that includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

The company will have 225 employees, some of whom are new hires and some who will move over from the processing plant at Duck Delivery, which is being closed, Spada said.

Valley Pride Sales improves food safety

Mount Vernon, Wash.-based grower-shipper Valley Pride Sales is continuing its emphasis on food safety this year, said Dale Hayton, sales manager.

“We’ve kind of pushed forward on more of those types of things, not just to stay compliant but to stay ahead of what’s coming,” he said.

He declined to comment on individual improvements the company had made this year in the area.

“It’s just the overall program — the bookkeeping, the logging of everything you do, along with the traceability and so on,” he said.

The company is looking to reduce redundancy in audits, Hayton said.

“What’s been difficult is what works for one retailer or foodservice company may not work for another, so there’s been requests for several different audits, and we are trying to hone in on one universal audit that would work for most everybody,” he said.