(Sept. 6) Focused on year-round marketing of sweet onions, a company formed this summer, Sweetwater Marketing LLC, Yakima, Wash., is opening its doors to partners who bring supply and buying experience to the firm.

The company’s partners are Frank Davis, vice president of sales and marketing for Borton & Sons Inc., Yakima, and Dan Bates, formerly with Associated Grocers Inc. of Seattle and Associated Wholesale Grocers of Kansas City, Kan.

Bates, president of Sweetwater Marketing LLC, will operate out of Seattle and work closely with Borton & Sons in marketing onions and organic apples, according to Mindy Van Vleck, assistant marketing director for Borton & Sons and Sweetwater Marketing LLC.

Bates has more than 25 years experience in produce marketing, she said.

She said both men will be involved with sales and marketing for Sweetwater, and Davis will continue his present responsibilities at Borton & Sons.

Van Vleck said Sweetwater Marketing LLC was formed in mid-May.

She said an important item for the company will be the Sweetwater Red Sweet Onion.

She said the proprietary variety, marketed in limited quantity for the last couple of years by Borton & Sons, has a unique burgundy color that resists discoloration when cut.

Sweetwater Red Sweet Onions will be marketed in soft net bags that range from 2-pound bags for mediums to 8-pound bags for jumbos.

The proprietary red onion will be marketed in a display-ready 40-pound carton.

The red sweet variety is expected to ship from Washington beginning about Sept. 18 and running through April. California product should be active from May through August, she said.

Van Vleck said Sweetwater Marketing LLC also will be marketing year-round supplies of sweet onions and standard onions, in addition to organic onions and organic apples. She said Sweetwater expects to market about 500,000 40-pound carton of the proprietary sweet red onion this year.

She also said the firm plans to market organic pears and cherries in addition to apples and onions.