Five Crowns hired Gary Meadows as the vice president of the Los Angeles division and Cruz Carrera as director of the asparagus division, according to a news release.
Meadows, who has been at Progressive Produce LLC since 2006, most recently as vice president of sales, has almost four decades of experience in the industry, including director of purchasing at Ralphs Grocery.
Carrera has been in the industry since 2004, for nine years at Mission Produce as a salesman and asparagus sales category manager, and at Progressive Produce, as director of sales and business development, also with a focus on asparagus.
Five Crowns is doubling asparagus volumes to ensure a consistent year-round availability, adding asparagus from Washington, Peru and more areas of Mexico, according to the release. Cabbage, cilantro, Brussels sprouts and Asian vegetables are being added to the asparagus mix as well.
Berry volumes are also expanding, with the addition of Mexico and Peru supply, and different areas of Canada, Washington and California.
Five Crowns has opened an office and distribution center in Los Angeles to support the new business, and Meadows and Carrera will be based there, according to the release.
A new Tracy, Calif., facility is expected to open in January 2021 to expand the company’s value-added sweet corn program with GloriAnn Farms. The facility will also be a distribution hub for watermelon, berries and asparagus, according to the release. The new facility will increase capacity for value-added product by 2 ½ times.
“This whole expansion is really about positioning us for the future in a very challenging environment in California, between labor and logistics,” Daren Van Dyke, director of marketing at Five Crowns, said in the release. “We are a solution driven company for our customers, and this helps uniquely position us as such!”
Five Crowns is co-owned by Bill and Joe Colace.
“We are optimistic about the new facilities and our asparagus program, and adding Gary and Cruz to the Five Crowns family to help build both areas of the business,” Bill Colace said in the release. “We feel these gentlemen are a unique fit to what we wanted to accomplish long-term.”