( Photos courtesy Progressive Produce and Adobe Spark; logo courtesy Progressive Produce; graphic by Amelia Freidline )

Nace Brian Cohen, who founded Progressive Produce in Los Angeles in 1967 with Charles Gilb, as a potato and onion company, has died.

Cohen, who died Jan. 11, was 94 years old.

The company, which started out with a single truck and a sales staff of one, has grown substantially, branching into citrus, asparagus and other vegetables, including peppers and other Hispanic specialties. 

Chiquita Brands International purchased the company in 1988; a management team of Jim Leimkuhler, Victor Rodarte and Jack Gyben purchased the company from Chiquita in 2003.

Cohen was a paratrooper in World War II and received the Bronze Medal of Honor, according to his obituary In the Los Angeles Times.

He served as president of the Los Angeles Sephardic Home for the Aged and on the board of directors for the Jewish Home for the Aged and the City of Hope, according to the obituary.

After retiring from the produce industry, he became a bronze and precious stone sculptor, and some of his artwork is one display at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda, Calif.

Survivors include daughters Vicki, Rodell, Jacquie and Suzanne.

Services were Jan. 15 at the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.


 

 
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