Past chairmen of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California gathered for a reunion at the Monterey event. Salinas-based Mann Packing provided some of those chairmen, including longtime partner Bill Ramsey and chief executive officer Lorri Koster.
Employees and customers at the fairgrounds heard live music, sampled food vendors and visited a Mann Packing museum showcasing the company’s history through archival photos, artifacts, clothing, press clippings and product displays.
Mann Packing has also been marking the anniversary at trade shows.
The company was founded in 1939 by H.W. Mann — better known as Cy Mann — as a carrot packing operation. It was soon growing broccoli for frozen food companies and shipping it east.
Mann Packing Co. funded the first market basket nutritional study of broccoli at the U.S. Department of Agriculture together with the Produce Marketing Association, which emphasized the vegetable’s health benefits. After the study was publicized, shipments of fresh broccoli increased 940% from 1970 to 1985, according to the release.
Its fresh and fresh-cut products include broccoli coleslaw, Broccolini, stringless sugar snap peas, Simply Singles whole leaf products, Arcadian Harvest petite whole lettuce leaves, Better Burger leaf and Scarlett Butter lettuce.
Mann Packing is owned by the Nucci and Ramsey families. More than 65% of its shareholders are women, making it a certified Women’s Business Enterprise.