EarthFresh Foods building larger facility

Toronto-based EarthFresh Foods is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a move to a larger facility that’s closer to its farm in Millgrove, Ontario.

Company president Tom Hughes’ father started the company as a one-room office with two employees at the Ontario Food Terminal. EarthFresh is now one of Canada’s largest potato grower-shippers.

Marketing manager Stephanie Cutaia said the LEED-certified facility should be complete next October and combine all operations, from washing and packing to distributing.

Its location will allow EarthFresh to take customers on farm tours, Cutaia said.

“We found retail customers want to be connected to the farm,” she said.


The Onion House sells for Bear Valley growers

Don Ed Holmes, president of The Onion House LLC, Weslaco, Texas, is excited about working with Bear Valley onion growers in Corinne, Utah.

“We’re doing the sales for them this year, and they’ve got a beautiful crop, all in storage,” said Holmes.

“The size is probably a little bigger than usual,” Holmes said. “They had such a great fall, quality is better than usual, volume is nice, and the deal may go into February.”

In January, Holmes plans to launch a newly designed 40-pound box of Mexican sweet onions under the Sweet Senorita label he acquired in the spring.

“We’re looking forward to getting the Sweet Senorita label into the market a little heavier,” he said.

He’s also looking to increase his 3-pound consumer pack volume in South Texas.


Peatland Reds Inc. goes straight to stores

Trail, Minn.-based Peatland Reds is selling its red potatoes directly to grocery stores rather than using a broker.

“It’s going well. We’re starting to get the hang of how it works,” said partner-manager Dennis Magnell, who grows 550 acres of potatoes in thick peat soil just east of the Red River.

Magnell is also growing fingerlings for seed this year as an experiment, with plans to start washing and packing the specialty potatoes next year to attract high-end grocers who want his Peatland Reds.

“It’s a niche market,” he said, “but we’re trying to find stuff that will keep our staff busy year round.”

With upgrades to its storage facility, Peatland can now offer potatoes year round.


Saven Corp. adds sweet potatoes, russets

Savannah, Ga.-based Saven Corp., known for Oso Sweet onions, is getting into the potato business.

President Brian Kastick said Saven is now selling sweet potatoes out of Louisiana, Georgia and North Carolina and has had good supplies of russets out of Washington since Oct. 1 in cartons and consumer bags.

“It’s a new item for us, and we’ve had a good reception in the marketplace,” Kastick said. “We anticipate strong sales volume through the holidays.”

He said a lot of his bigger onion customers, who are also potato grower and shippers, asked if Saven would be interested in working with them.

“Since we had such a positive experience working together on sweets, it made sense for us to sell potatoes for them,” he said.


Sweet Onion Trading hires sales manager

Grant, Fla.-based Sweet Onion Trading has a new sales manager.

“Jim Potrikus joins us from a long career in retail sales and category management,” president Barry Rogers said.

“We feel his insight and many years of experience will be invaluable to buyers seeking to maximize sales.” 

Before joining Sweet Onion Trading, Potrikus, based in Hoover, Ala., was produce category manager for Belle Foods and produce director for Southern Family Markets, both in Birmingham, Ala.