Grant M. Hunt    Photo courtesy Grant J. Hunt Co.


Grant M. Hunt, the grandson of company founder Grant J. Hunt, Sr. has announced his retirement from the Oakland, Calif., based Grant J. Hunt Co.

Stepping down Jan. 1, Hunt said in a news release that he will continue to work with the company as a consultant. 
Hunt’s long-term co-owners, Salvatore Rizzo and Maurice Protzen, are now the owners of the Grant J. Hunt Co., according to the release. Rizzo is now president, and Protzen is vice president.

“The produce industry has given me a career I wouldn’t change for any other,” Hunt said in the release. “The people I’ve had the privilege to work with within the Grant J. Hunt Co., the retailers and wholesalers I’ve had close relationships with, the shippers and growers that have trusted us with their product and my peers throughout the various industry associations such as the Produce Marketing Association have truly made my career a blessing.”

Hunt began his career as a salesman with Grant J. Hunt Co. in March 1980, starting the same day as his eventual business partner Rizzo. Jim Hunt, father of Grant, was company president at the time.

Hunt expressed confidence in the company’s new leadership will operate the company with the same high standards it has embraced for 84 years.

Rizzo said in the release he looks forward to new opportunities for the company.

“Grant, Maurice and I have been business partners for over 20 years, and we’ve always taken great pride in the teamwork and positive attitude that the Grant J. Hunt Company is known for,” Rizzo said. “We have terrific team in place and are excited for the New Year.”



Hunt was chairman of the Produce Marketing Association’s Board in 1999. His father also was the chairman in 1981, and so far they have been the only father/son duo to serve the PMA board as chairmen, according to the release.

“I’ve always felt it was important to be involved with many aspects of the industry at the local, regional, national and even international level,” Hunt said. “This is an ever-changing industry and that is why our company has always strived to be strategically focused on the future,” Hunt said. 

Cathy Burns, Produce Marketing Association CEO, praised Hunt’s contributions.

“Grant’s vision is still being felt today as, during his time in PMA leadership, he focused on driving consumption for produce and floral, expanding PMA’s global focus, helping members capitalize on an increasingly complex business environment (especially in technology and science), and increasing member value through participation in PMA (now benefiting from more than 400 volunteer leaders),” Burns said in the release. “We will miss his counsel and leadership and wish him well in retirement.” 


Company growth

Under Hunt’s tenure, the release said the company opened offices in the Pacific Northwest and created a logistics company with offices in Oregon and California. In 2016, the company launched Grant J. Hunt Company-South with an office in Scotts Valley, Calif., and a distribution center in Rio Rico, Ariz.

Hunt said in the release he plans to be active in his retirement, volunteering for non-profit groups, developing his golf game and traveling with his wife Susan.