John Vena and Dan Vena lead a century anniversary at their store at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. ( Courtesy of John Vena Produce )

Founded in 1919, John Vena is celebrating a century in business this year with a staff party in the fall plus several innovations.

One hundred years ago, the first John Vena burst onto the Philadelphia scene as a young, entrepreneurial Sicilian immigrant who decided to buy wine grapes from wholesalers at the Port of Philadelphia and resell them at the Dock Street produce market to support his family. 

Today, the Philadelphia-based wholesaler is still family-owned-and operated, with the founder’s grandson, John Vena III, at the helm and the fourth generation, Dan Vena, leading the sales team.

The company re-tooled its mission statement to make the business of food more interesting, exciting and fun, said John Vena, president. And in the next few months, the company will roll out a new logo. There’s a new website in the works too. In 2020, customers can expect a new line of John Vena Inc.-brand specialty items.