All Fresh GPS in Sparta, Mich., is in its fourth year offering the SweeTango variety. ( Courtesy All Fresh GPS LLC )

All Fresh GPS sees big increase

All Fresh GPS LLC, Sparta, Mich., will have a significant increase in fuji, gala and other apple varieties this year as trees planted over the past five years come into production, said Scott Swindeman, vice president and partner.

The company also is in its fourth year offering the SweeTango variety.

Harvesting, which started Aug. 20, should be up to speed by Sept. 10 and continue until late October, he said.


BelleHarvest Sales hires two

BelleHarvest Sales Inc., Belding, Mich., has hired Angie Sommers as a marketing specialist and Sean Heffron as data analyst, said Chris Sandwick, vice president of sales and marketing.

Sommers will focus on retail promotion, new product development and social media.

Most recently, she was with the western Michigan office of Wilbur-Ellis, where she did marketing and field work.

Heffron, who is from a multi-generation apple farm, will work with sales staff and retailers to provide internal and external reporting, Sandwick said.


Glei’s installs Compac sorter

Glei’s Inc., Hillsdale, Mich., has installed a new Compac single-lane sorter with a Spectrim cabinet that can detect external defects and sort by and color and size, said Damon Glei, president and owner.

The machine includes an Inspectra 2 internal quality sorting system to detect internal defects. The system should be ready for this season, he said.


Jack Brown production rises

Jack Brown Produce Inc., Sparta, Mich., will have an increase in volume this year, including increased production of the EverCrisp variety, said Tom Labbe, sales manager.

The company had a small amount of EverCrisp last year, he said.

“But this year I think we will have enough for it to be a nice variety for our Michigan apple customers. It was something we thought we could do a good job at,” he said.

EverCrisp should be available in late October.


Apple committee adds to staff

John Woodall has been named regional manager for the Lansing-based Michigan Apple Committee, said Diane Smith, executive director.

Woodall, who will cover the northern region of the U.S., replaced Mike Bardon, who retired in June.

Woodall most recently served as produce and floral specialist for Denver-based Lucky’s Market. Before that, he was produce buyer for Independence, Ky.-based Crosset Co. LLC and Indianapolis-based Caito Food Service, with specific experience in the apple category at both companies.


North Bay Produce opens headquarters

North Bay Produce, Traverse City, Mich., has been growing at a rate of 15% to 20% every year on all the commodities the company produces, said Ken Korson, apple category manager.

“It hasn’t really let up,” he said.

The company, which sources from growers all over the world, opened a new 15,000-square-foot headquarters in Traverse City several months ago, he said.

North Bay Produce has seven apple packing sheds in Michigan and one in North Carolina.