(Sept. 24) MINNEAPOLIS — By the end of October, a leading upper Midwest produce distributor may have a new owner.

The owners of Wholesale Produce Supply, a nearly 40-year-old wholesaler and tomato repacker that distributes produce to eight states and two Canadian provinces, have agreed to sell the company to a leading real estate developer. Company officials say they expect the deal to be completed by Oct. 25.

Gary Holmes signed a letter of intent Sept. 12 stating his interest in acquiring Wholesale Produce Supply’s assets.

“There’s no question, no reason why this won’t be a done deal by the end of October,” said Ted Shabert, Wholesale Produce Supply’s president.

Holmes, who has apartments, hotels, shopping centers and commercial and industrial real estate properties nationally, has had a business relationship with Wholesale Produce Supply.

“He’s well-known in the real estate industry,” Shabert said. “He’s been our landlord for 27 years. We’ve known him for all those years, from when he was running a small but enterprising young company.”

Holmes said he has long admired the company and its management team.

“I look forward to helping them continue their growth in the coming years,” he said.

Wholesale Produce Supply distributes produce to major grocery chains and foodservice purveyors from North Dakota to Indiana, Nebraska and Missouri to Michigan, as well as Ontario and Manitoba.

Wholesale Produce Supply is owned by a trust established by Max Berc Sr. of Minneapolis. Berc died in 1999. Shabert and others have been managing the business for the Berc family, Shabert said.