Ferrante, executive vice president at Southern Belle, has a background in vegetables and berries, according to a news release. For 20 years, he helped manage Teixeira Farms, a Santa Maria, Calif., operation owned by his wife’s family. He was senior director of operations for Dole Fresh Vegetables and later managed Dole Berry Co.’s West Coast and Mexico berry operations, according to the release.
Ferrante has been the chief operating officer of North Carolina sweet potato grower-shipper Wayne E. Bailey Produce and most recently was vice president of business development for Dave’s Specialty Imports, Coral Springs, Fla.
Ferrante will work with Southern Belle founders Brick and Jenny Rooks on expanding into vegetables and other business ventures, according to the release.
“Brick and I have a similar vision on how we can bring West Coast agriculture, particularly the tender leaf baby-type lettuce, to our region of North Carolina,” Ferrante said in the release.
“With the increased demand of local and regional produce, we can feel that North Carolina can play a key role to provide quality vegetables to support sourcing needs in the East on a year-round basis, and Vince has the experience and industry knowledge that will help make that happen,” Brick Rooks said in the release.