( Chris Woo )

After 45 years in the produce industry and selling a world of onions, Chris Woo is ready to retire.

Woo, sales manager for Baker & Murakami Produce Co./Potandon Produce in Ontario, Ore., said he plans to retire in July.

“I’ll probably stay in the valley and probably take more time to golf and fish and spend time with my family,” he said. Woo and his wife Lonnie will also enjoy spending time with their three-month-old granddaughter, he said.

Selling onions was nearly all of what he did in more than four decades in the business, he said.

Albert Woo, his father, was an onion and potato broker in Los Angeles, and Chris Woo started his career at age 20 on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. During that time, Chris Woo mostly sold onions from Los Angeles to customers in the Eastern U.S. 

At age 25, he moved to Nyssa, Ore., and worked for Treasure Valley Growers & Sales, an onion and potato packing shed mostly owned by C.H. Robinson. At 35 years old, Woo joined Murakami Produce (which recently merged with Baker Packing Co. to become Baker & Murakami Produce) and has been with the company since then.

Woo has enjoyed his relationships with growers and customers.

Over his four decades in the business, he has seen both onion supply and consumption grow, with retail, foodservice and fresh processing operations all playing a role.

“Demand has grown by leaps and bounds,” Woo said.