(May 25) Boskovich Farms Inc. is known for its vegetables.

But when a veteran marketer of sliced apples came to the company with a business proposition, the Oxnard, Calif.-based grower-shipper couldn’t pass it up.

Boskovich and Fresh Innovations LLC, Burlington, Wash., joined forces to form Oxnard-based Fresh Innovations of California LLC. Both companies own 50% stakes in the new company.

The company debuted its sliced apples packs at the National Restaurant Association’s annual convention May 19-22 in Chicago.

The joint operation, formed in April 2006, kept a low profile for most of its first year, processing and packing sliced apples using existing equipment at Boskovich’s plant. But in January, Fresh Innovations of California LLC opened a 20,000-square-foot processing facility in Oxnard designed specifically for apples, said Mike O’Leary, vice president of sales and marketing for Boskovich’s fresh-cut division.

The joint venture is a perfect fit for both companies, O’Leary said. Fresh Innovations, a marketing firm in the fresh-cut apple business for six years, had been experiencing quality issues with apples processed by some packing partners, O’Leary said, and the marketer was looking for greater control over production.