Church Bros. launches new salad blends

Church Bros. LLC, Salinas, Calif., has introduced a number of salad blends, said Ernst Van Eeghen, director of marketing and product development.

There’s a fresh-cut, 2-pound San Juan blend with chopped green leaf and spring mix; a 2-pound butter blend with butter lettuce and lola rosa; and a 1-pound napa cabbage blend with napa cabbage, green cabbage, julienne-cut carrots and radicchio.

The company also has launched heirloom spinach products, one with 100% red heirloom spinach and another with a 50-50 blend of red and regular green heirloom spinach.

DiMare opens facility in Houston

DiMare Co., Ruskin, Fla., has opened a repack facility and distribution center in Houston, said vice president Tony DiMare. Much of the product handled there will be destined for the foodservice segment.

Tomatoes, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, bananas and leaf items will go through the 110,000-square-foot plant, which has four temperature zones, 15 loading dock doors, 10 ripening rooms for bananas, avocados and melons and storage capacity for 130 truckloads, he said.

DiMare has long operated out of Houston, but this is the first time the company will have its own facility there.

Potato group picks promotions director

Foodservice industry veteran Jeff Pryor has joined the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission as foodservice promotions director for the Southeast. He succeeds Ray Hepler, who is retiring after 16 years. Pryor will work with Don Odiorne, foodservice vice president.

In his new role, Pryor will represent the commission at foodservice trade shows, lead marketing outreach to distributors and produce specialists and conduct Idaho potato product seminars and educational sessions, according to a news release.

Chefs help Limoneira tout benefits of lemons

Santa Paula, Calif.-based Limoneira Co. is connecting with noted chefs to help the company “unleash the natural power of lemons,” said John Chamberlain, director of marketing.

The company has created apps that show how lemons can be used for household cleaning, health aids and lifestyle improvement.

“In each city, we’ve identified people who are experts in these areas, and we’re linking with them to talk about lemons and Limoneira,” Chamberlain said.

The company already has connected with Gregorio Stephenson, head chef at Nobu Malibu restaurant near Los Angeles, and with Erin Hayes, mixologist at the J. Parker Lounge at Hotel Lincoln, Chicago. The company also plans to link up with chefs in New York and Toronto.

Chuck Olsen Co. eases Yuma shipping

The Chuck Olsen Co., Visalia, Calif., is consolidating loads in Indio, Calif., said Jeff Olsen, vice president.

“It makes it easier to load from Yuma, Ariz.,” he said.

Tanimura & Antle expands Artisan line

Salinas, Calif.-based Tanimura & Antle Inc. now offers washed-and-ready Artisan lettuce for foodservice, said Chris Schuck, foodservice salesman.

The product was developed in response to clients looking for a bag to open and serve, said chief executive officer Rick Antle. Each case contains three to six varieties of Artisan lettuces.

“The Artisan whole head is the way to go,” said foodservice salesman Jason Grolnick.

But the washed-and-ready product is a good choice for end users who don’t have time or labor to process the lettuce, and who prefer an Artisan lettuce where they can create their own salad with a specific texture and flavor profile.

Underwood Ranches artichokes catch on

Oxnard, Calif.-based Underwood Ranches’ small, loose artichokes are drawing interest among foodservice operators, said salesman Thomas Walsh. The product, available from November through April, is picking up volume every year, he said.

“We’re really getting a good following on it.”