Los Angeles business updates - The Packer

Los Angeles business updates

07/13/2012 03:35:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Paul Arambul Jr., most recently with Union Gap, Wash.-based E.W. Brandt & Sons, is heading up the company’s apples and deciduous fruit department.

Lorenzo Brunetti, a recent graduate of Whittier College, Whittier, Calif., is working with Harold Weisfeld in the Texas citrus, limes and Mexican fruit department, said Jeff Weisfeld, owner and president.

The company now is in the second year of operating its own warehouse and offers services ranging from repacking to consolidation to better serve its customers, Jeff Weisfeld said.

Great West Produce marks 50th anniversary

Great West Produce Inc., Commerce, Calif., is still going strong as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The company has added a repacking facility where it now produces consumer packs of onions and is expanding its services to start putting up consumer packs of navel oranges, minneolas, lemons and limes from domestic growers and importers, said Sean Villa, president.

The company receives product at the Port of Los Angeles, where it conducts inspections and has cold storage and repacking facilities.

Great West Produce can pack in euro bags with high-graphic film.

The company can design labels for retailers, use retailers’ current label or pack in independent labels.

Also, Tim Warren, a 30-year produce industry veteran most recently with Pacific Sons Produce LLC, Laguna Niguel, Calif., has joined the company’s sales staff.

Great West Produce was started by Art Villa in 1962 as a brokerage company.

His son Paul Villa, chief executive officer, developed the company into a wholesaler, distributor and repacker.

Interfresh Inc. opens office in La Quinta

Interfresh Inc., Orange, Calif., has opened an office in La Quinta, Calif., in the Coachella Valley, said Chris Puentes, president.

The office is headed up by Barrett Johnson, most recently a field buyer for Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc.

Progressive Produce hires sales manager

Progressive Produce Corp., Commerce, Calif., has hired Chris Jacoby as sales manager, said Jack Gyben, vice president and partner. Jacoby was with Albertson’s for 20 years.

The company also has reintroduced its baby potato line. Retailers have shown renewed interest in the category as consumers seek out the convenient size and appealing color of baby potatoes, Gyben said.

Progressive offers a newly redesigned line that includes consumer recipes, he said.

Progressive’s premium citrus category also continues to grow with a focus on 1-pound packages of key limes, baby lemons and limes. Many customers cross merchandise these items in the beer aisle and in the seafood section for incremental sales, Gyben said.

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