(Nov. 14) ATLANTA — After splitting from fresh-cut vegetable provider Apio Inc. a couple of years ago to focus on commodities, Apio Fresh is moving forward under a new name.

The new moniker, Beachside Produce, was introduced at the company’s booth on the expo floor of Fresh Summit 2005.

The Guadalupe, Calif.-based company retains almost the entire staff and management that it had under its former name, said John Jackson, chief executive officer. Beachside has six salespeople.

“We were Apio Fresh until yesterday,” Jackson said Nov. 8. “We bought Apio Fresh From Apio Inc. 2½ years ago. But there was confusion in the general industry, and we wanted to change our name to fix that. Coinciding with the PMA show was the right time.”

Beachside Produce plans to focus on field-packed broccoli, packaged green onions, celery, lettuce, the exotic-looking romanesco and the Lyon artichoke, said Jackson, who was chief financial officer of Apio Inc. before becoming chief executive officer of Apio Fresh and now Beachside.

In promoting the Lyon artichoke, Beachside will build on the campaign it launched under its former name.

The first perennial artichoke introduced into California in years, Jackson said, the Lyon features a large heart and meaty leaf. Jackson said that while it looks like a seeded variety, the Lyon has a better taste.

Eight growers own the year-round producer, which sources products from 16 to 20 growers, depending on the season. Beachside grows products California’s Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys near Guadalupe, as well as the Imperial Valley and the Mexicali Valley in Mexico.