(March 6) Eric Patrick, who had been marketing director for Yakima, Wash.-based Domex Marketing Co. Inc., has shifted companies while focusing on a familiar product: cherries.

Patrick moved from Domex to the Oakland, Calif.-based Grant J. Hunt Co. on Feb. 27 as marketing director.

He will be based in Yakima.

Patrick, former domestic promotion director for the Washington State Fruit Commission and the Northwest Cherry Growers, both based in Yakima, initially will help build Hunt’s cherry program.

Hunt’s 12-week cherry deal, which runs from early June to nearly the end of August, last year shipped more than 500,000 boxes of cherries from several growers in Oregon and Washington.

The company estimates this year’s volume will be 800,000 to 900,000.

“Volumes are starting to reach some numbers that we feel expanding the market primarily in the domestic market is the plan,” Patrick said of Grant J. Hunt’s cherry deal.

The deal features product from Orchard View Farms, The Dalles, Ore.; Spring Creek Orchards, Hood River, Ore.; and Blue Mountain Growers Inc., Milton-Freewater, Ore., but also includes fruit from as far north as Chelan, Wash.

“They’ve leaned toward export to 20-plus countries this past season,” Patrick said. “We’re still looking to potentially grow the program beyond that. The returns have been solid.”

The company also would consider bringing in more growers, Patrick said.

“We’re always looking for high-quality growers and fruit to expand that program,” he said.