Bay Area invests in infrastructure

Bay Area Herbs and Specialties LLC on the Golden Gate Produce Terminal in South San Francisco is investing in its infrastructure to improve customer service and food safety management, said Steven Hurwitz, an owner and president.

The company, which distributes specialty and organic produce and culinary herbs, added 10,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space and is stepping up its focus on food safety to address requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, he said.

The firm also added two new trucks — for a total of five — in order to expand its delivery service and to reach a broader customer base.

Bay Area Herbs and Specialties delivers throughout the Bay Area and as far away as Reno, Nev., and Monterey and Modesto in California, Hurwitz said.


Lady apple pouches new from CDS

San Francisco-based CDS Distributing Inc., which distributes apples, pears, cherries and other items, will offer the Lady apple variety in pouch bags for the first time this season, said Jan Garrett, vice president of marketing.

The company should have increased volume of the variety this year, with supplies shipping from Oct. 2 until mid-January.

Lady apples are a small variety — “not even as big as a size 138” — Garrett said. They’re a bit bigger than crab apples and lend themselves well to pouch bags, which will be labeled with Price Look-Up stickers and weigh approximately 1.25 pounds.

CDS, which is marking its 40th year in business this year, also is the exclusive distributor of Smitten apples in the Bay Area and should have increased supplies of that variety this season, Garrett said.


Grant J. Hunt South a year old

Oakland, Calif.-based Grant J. Hunt Co. has marked the first anniversary of its Grant J. Hunt Co. South location in Scotts Valley, Calif., and Rio Rico, Ariz.

The new location came about when Leo Goscila and Hank Imwalle retired from Los Gatos, Calif.-based Bay Area Produce in 2016 after founding the company 42 years earlier, said Bob Loyst, general manager of the new branch and previously executive vice president at Bay Area Produce.

They closed the company but nearly all the Bay Area Produce employees were hired by Grant M. Hunt, president of the parent company, and his partners, when they saw the opportunity to broaden their customer and commodity base, Loyst said.

Grant made the decision to hire the Bay Area staff after conducting an on-site inspection of Bay Area’s consolidation dock in Rio Rico and interviewing each of the employees, Loyst said.


JMB ramps up sweet corn packs

San Ramon, Calif.-based Jacobs, Malcolm & Burtt Inc. is ramping up production of its packaged sweet corn, said Craig Rolandelli, vice president.

“We created the first packaged corn 10 years ago,” Rolandelli said. The company got out of the program when its shipper pulled out, but returned to the deal a couple of years ago.

The firm has invested in husking and packing equipment.

“We’re starting to grow that business,” he said.

JMB offers four- and eight-count packs of conventional sweet corn year-round and organic sweet corn during the summer.

The company also is a major year-round asparagus shipper from California and Mexico, Rolandelli said, and has a strong asparagus export business.


Nick Burns

Nick Burns joins Pacific Organic

Nick Burns, most recently with Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, Santa Cruz, Calif., has been named commodity manager for Pacific Organic Produce, San Francisco, said John Stair, domestic commodity manager.

Burns will help handle the company’s import and domestic deals, including organic mangoes, citrus, apples and pears, Stair said.

“(Burns) brings some strong analytical skills that we feel will really benefit our team and ultimately the growers who hire us,” Stair said. “We’re happy to have Nick on the team and look forward to his contribution.”


Stanley Produce in new location

Stanley Produce Co. Inc. on the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market moved to a new location on the market late last year, said Stanley Corriea Jr., president.

The company, which has been on the market since it opened in the early 1960s, has a location consisting of three 60- by 100-foot stalls near the market entrance that provide the firm with greater visibility and, it is hoped, more wholesale business, Corriea said.

The facility has roll-up doors and new refrigeration that maintains a temperature of 38 degrees to prevent spoilage, he said.

Stanley Produce specializes in products like mushrooms, Belgian endive, shallots and radicchio.

“Our product line has expanded exponentially,” Corriea said. “We have almost 1,000 different products now.”


Twin Peaks adds asparagus program

Twin Peaks Distributing Inc., on the Golden Gate Produce Terminal in South San Francisco, now offers asparagus from Coachella, Calif.-based Prime Time International, said Guy Davidoff, who owns Twin Peaks with Bob Scuoteguazza.

The company will offer 11-pound cartons of asparagus grown in Baja California until January or February.

Asparagus will be shipped out of Coachella and Somis, Calif., “which will allow us to deliver overnight, which is a huge plus,” he said.

Twin Peaks, which represents Prime Time International in Northern California almost exclusively, also ships Prime Time’s red, yellow and green bell peppers, which also can be delivered overnight.

Twin Peaks is looking forward to a strong season of Texas oranges and grapefruit, lemons from California and Mexico, and California navels, satsumas and Halos brand mandarins, Davidoff said.

The company also will have a large program out of Nogales, Ariz., starting in December that will include Mexican vegetables, tomatoes and watermelon.