(April 15) SALINAS, Calif. — A former partner in Sunridge Farms Inc. will market melons from El Centro this spring through a new company called ProduceMax.

Dave Adrian, who left Sunridge in August, expects to move 350,000 to 400,000 cartons of watermelons and cantaloupes during the El Centro deal, which should run from May 1 through July 15.

Adrian will sell melons produced by Salinas grower George Amaral, whom Adrian met while working with Sunridge. About two-thirds of the watermelons will be seedless. They will be available in a variety of cartons, including bins, display-ready corrugated and reusable plastic containers.

Amaral will grow 200-250 acres of watermelon and 175 acres of cantaloupe in El Centro this season, Adrian said.

The 44-year-old Adrian, who spent five years at Sunridge and eight years as sales manager for Boskovich Farms before that, has enlisted some well-known names in produce as seasonal salesmen.

Pat Smith, who has worked for The Kroger Co. and Santa Maria Produce, will sell for ProduceMax from Arroyo Grande. And Bob Stumpo, the former director of purchasing and distribution for Wendy’s International Inc., will sell from Columbus, Ohio.

Adrian sold his share of Sunridge back to his partners in mid-August last year.

ProduceMax got its PACA license in March.