California Giant throws berry party

Watsonville, Calif.-based California Giant Berry Farms partnered with blogger Coryanne Ettiene and the Urban Girls Squad for a berry party on April 23, according to a news release.

The event included berry-flavored cocktail samples, conversation, and the opportunity for the girls to get hands-on experience at making a pie, as well as a berry buffet.

The Urban Girls Squad has more than 14,000 members and plans social networking events for women in New York City, according to the release.


Curry & Co. hires sales director

Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., hired Bruce Turner as director of sales and business development for berries. Turner, who most recently was employed with Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, has more than 25 years of experience in the produce industry, according to a news release.

Turner’s responsibilities include helping with both domestic and import berries, especially while also helping the company’s blueberry category grow.

“Our blueberry category continues to grow, and we are expecting up to a 20% larger crop out of our Oregon operations this year,” Turner said in an e-mail.


Hurst’s Berry Farm expands production

Hurst’s Berry Farm, Sheridan, Ore., hired Casandra Johnson as a saleswoman in the Fresno office, which opened in May 2012, managing director Doug Perkins said.

The company is expanding its blueberry production, which is taking place in its Bakersfield, Calif., facility with the addition of two fill-by-weight machines.

“We added those machines to keep up with our production, which has grown over the last couple of years,” Perkins said.

The company is also in the process of adding new equipment to its Sheridan location for the upcoming cranberry season in October.


Oppenheimer Group adds veteran salesman

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, hired Rob Campbell, an experienced berry salesman, berry category director Nolan Quinn said.

Campbell’s experience includes time with Berry Fresh LLC and Pure Fresh Sales, among others.

“We are expecting increased blueberry volumes from North Carolina and British Columbia this spring and summer, so Rob is a well-timed addition to the team,” Quinn said in an e-mail.

In the future, Campbell also will further develop the company’s Mexican blackberry and import blueberry programs.


Red Blossom Sales rides Facebook wave

Red Blossom Sales, Oxnard, Calif., has a new Facebook page in an attempt to stay in better contact with consumers.

“We continue to work on dynamic ways to converse and connect with our consumers. Facebook is another platform where we can keep the conversation active,” marketing director Michelle Deleissegues said in an e-mail.

The company is also working on updates to its website to make it more consumer-focused, rather than the industry-friendly site it currently uses.

The company plans to unveil these changes this summer, Deleissegues said.


Blueberry council partners with celebrity

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council has partnered with Allison Sweeney, host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” according to Kathy Blake, spokeswoman for the council.

This is the council’s first year having a celebrity spokeswoman, and Sweeney has done some promotional videos that are available on the council’s website.

Sweeney will offer healthy living inspiration, according to Blake, and there already has been good response.

“We’ve gotten a lot of social media traffic as a result,” Blake said.

“With two jobs and two kids, Sweeney is no stranger to the task of balancing work, family, nutrition and fitness, and she talks to women every day who are looking for motivation to help them and their families stay in shape,” Blake said in an e-mail.

Sweeney began working with the council at the beginning of this year.