(July 31) MONTEREY, Calif. — Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, Fla., plans to make foodservice a bigger part of its berry strategy and has hired a Salinas-area veteran for the job.

Greg Gattis joined Naturipe July 7 as director of foodservice sales, a new position. He’ll be based in Salinas.

“Three years from now, we plan to double the percent of our sales to foodservice,” said Brian Bocock, vice president of sales, though he declined to give overall volume numbers.

Gattis said Naturipe mainly supplies broadliners in foodservice but he plans to work with more operators as the category grows.

“We see a real opportunity in bushberries in foodservice,” Bocock said. “Strawberries are very good already.”

Gattis has some experience with the strawberry industry, as he was vice president of sales and marketing for Misionero Vegetables, Salinas, for more than 15 years. He left Misionero in April as the company restructured its operations and closed a processing facility.

Gattis represented Naturipe for the first time at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Convention and Exposition on July 25-27 in Monterey.

Naturipe Farms adds foodservice sales director