(March 4) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — New ownership and a name change at a major Rocky Mountain area foodservice fresh-cut processor will accelerate expansion plans.

Taylor Farms Colorado Inc., Colorado Springs, is the new name of Fresh Express/Colorado Inc.

Bill Stevenson Jr., Taylor Farms Colorado’s president and former general manager, ended his business relationship with Salinas, Calif.-based Fresh Express Inc. Jan. 31 after he bought the outstanding shares of the company owned by Performance Food Group Co., Richmond, Va. He sold 80% of those shares to Taylor Farms of California, Salinas.

“Performance Food Group had approached me about buying my part of the company,” said Stevenson, who owned half of the company. “But we couldn’t agree on a deal. I think if they didn’t own 100% of it, it wasn’t a situation they wanted to be in. We agreed it would be a good idea to come up with an offer for them that would work and then we could both get on with our lives.”

Performance Food Group acquired the Colorado Springs facility in September 2001 when it bought Fresh Express, which had a 50% interest in the operation. The Colorado facility partnered with Fresh Express in 1987.

Known for its fresh-cut salads, Taylor Farms Colorado also packs cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, broccoli, cucumbers, peppers and ripens and repacks tomatoes. It distributes product to customers from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota and New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Montana.

Stevenson said he plans to introduce some new items after the company more than doubles its operation when it moves into a new facility in 2004. The location of the 100,000-square-foot facility, which will replace a building constructed in 1963, hasn’t been determined, Stevenson said.

Stevenson declined to elaborate on which items the processor will produce.