Michigan Produce business updates

06/06/2012 02:21:00 PM
Andy Nelson

After his retirement from the commission, or even while he’s still in the proposed part-time mentoring role, Kudwa would like to continue working for another organization or company, likely in the potato industry, on a part-time basis.

Joe Pirrone sells shares in Pirrone Produce

Joe Pirrone has sold his shares in Mussey, Mich.-based Mike Pirrone Produce Inc. but plans to remain with the company as a salesman.

In April, Pirrone sold his shares to his longtime co-owner, Butch DeBlouw, and DeBlouw’s son Henry DeBlouw, Butch DeBlouw said.

Butch DeBlouw, formerly secretary and treasurer, succeeds Pirrone as president, and Henry DeBlouw is the company’s new secretary and treasurer.

Pirrone’s current plan is to stay at Pirrone Produce as a salesman for the next three years, Butch DeBlouw said. He also will help with employee training.

Also this year, the company has added a new building, new packing machinery and new harvesting equipment for eggplant and other vegetables, DeBlouw said.

A new item on tap in 2012 is pink pumpkins, to ship this fall in conjunction with breast cancer awareness month in October, DeBlouw said.

The company is one of a handful in the country to ship the pink-hued pumpkins, which weigh about 14 pounds and are flatter than conventional pumpkins, DeBlouw said.

Pirrone Produce expects to ship about 65 to 70 loads.


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