Continuing a growth spurt that has seen sales and volumes double since 2003, Sunset Produce LLC has acquired packing and storage facilities that will enable the Prosser, Wash., company to increase capacity by 20% to 25%.
Brenden Kent, vice president of sales and marketing for Sunset, said the company bought the Paterson, Wash., packing and storage facility from Paterson Onion Inc. Paterson is currently leasing the facility back from Sunset, but it will soon vacate the premises and take most of its equipment and staff.
“We plan to be fully operational in the Paterson location by July,” Kent said. “We will likely add staff when things are up and running.”
By buying the Paterson facilities, Sunset is adding 15,000 tons of long-term storage and 22,000 square feet of packing/shipping space to its operations. The Sunset headquarters and main packing/storage operations are about 8 miles north of the Paterson facility.
Sunset is a fourth-generation partnership of the Robert and Duane Munn families. Kent said the company ships about 4 million bags of onions a year now, double the 2 million bags a year they were shipping when he joined the staff in 2003.
“We employ about 130 people and ship 35 to 40 truckloads a day from our Prosser location,” Kent said.
“The extra packing space will be crucial in our long-term development plan of specialty onion products and will also allow us to expand our current offerings to our customer base.”
Kent said sunset is preparing to launch a new line of consumer fresh carry bags, which will be packed at the Paterson facility. Some of Sunset’s organic packing operations will also likely be moved to the Paterson facility.