( Photo courtesy Adobe Spark; logo courtesy Watsonville Coast Produce Inc.; graphic by Amelia Freidline )

Watsonville Coast Produce Inc., Watsonville, Calif., has promoted Jerud Manfre to vice president of operations and Adrian Contreras to sales manager.

Manfre, son of Watsonville Coast Produce owner Gary Manfre, has worked at the company since he was 15, according to a news release, washing trucks on weekends and working his way up to pulling orders at night and then as a driver. Most recently, he has been a buyer at the company.

Contreras, Gary Manfre’s son-in-law, has been instrumental in the growth of the company’s organic program, according to the release. 

The moves follow the recent retirement of long-time buyer and partner John Burkett. 

Gary Manfre, who purchased the company in 1974, will remain president and CEO of the company.

“I’m not going anywhere, but it’s time for the next generation to begin taking the reins to lead us into the next decade,” he said in the release. “The management team is strong and with Jerud in his new role, I’m confident the team will continue to keep the momentum moving forward."