(Dec. 28) Two former members of Fruit Patch Sales Co., Dinuba, Calif., sales manager Julian Lipschitz and salesman Mike Weaver, have been added to the sales department of Dayka & Hackett LLC, Reedley, Calif.

“Julian and Mike have given us the opportunity to approach a new base of growers,” said partner Tim Dayka.

Dayka & Hackett was formed in 2005 when Dayka and Ralph Hackett, two of the founders of Pacific Trellis Fruit, Reedley, launched their own marketing firm. The company markets tree fruit and table grapes year round, Dayka said. In addition to California grown fruit, the company imports stone fruit and table grapes from South America, Mexico, New Zealand and Spain, he said.

“The addition of Julian and Mike is going to bring some complementary customers, and consequently we’re going to see an increase in demand for our products,” Dayka said. “We’re in on-going negotiations in terms of increasing our grower base.”

The company projects 2008 volume of 2.8 million cartons of domestic tree fruit and as many as three million cartons of domestic table grapes.

“That will probably be an increase of 35% to 45% over 2007,” Dayka said.

Lipschitz and Weaver were with Fruit Patch for the past decade. Prior to Fruit Patch, both worked for Hemphill and Wilson Enterprises, Selma, Calif.

Their departure brings to at least seven the number of staff members who in recent months have left Fruit Patch Sales, the marketing arm of The Fruit Patch Inc.