(July 22) DELANO, Calif. — Most people are probably wondering where Jim Pandol is after his 20-plus years with Pandol Bros. Inc. abruptly ended in late April.

Pandol has plans to set up shop in Delano, where he will remain entrenched in grapes but with a different approach.

Pandol has a new niche in the grape deal as a partner in Spectrum Produce Distributing Inc. The nearly 3-year-old company will be making changes in several areas under the expanded leadership. Pandol said the plan is to open its offices in central Delano Aug. 1.

Additional partners are expected to join the Spectrum group after finishing other commitments, Pandol said.

This is one phase of many for the operation.

“Spectrum produce is the banner we are organizing under for the present time,” Pandol said. “We see operating under the Spectrum name for the short term.”

Spectrum president Gary Blank will be one of the partners. Blank was unavailable for comment, and Pandol declined to reveal any other partners.

Spectrum has operated primarily as a broker, but under the new partnership the company also will take on its own growing and packing operations The company has been based in Nogales, Ariz., but will now move its home office to Delano.

Pandol, who formerly oversaw sales and marketing activities at Pandol Bros., said Spectrum’s program will center on grapes with year-round availability. Other commodities being offered include stone fruit, cherries and apples.

Pandol and partners will pack under the Alexander the Grape brand for its grape commodities. A label for the other items will be released at a later time, Pandol said.

Spectrum has supplies available this season. The expectation is to handle 2 million to 2.5 million packages this year in all commodities, Pandol said.

From there the company is forecasted to grow at about 20% each year for the next few years, Pandol said.

Pandol will oversee growing and packing operations with contract growers and farm managers.

He said this would include looking at additional land for Spectrum to buy or lease.

Marketing will be emphasized on domestic movement in the beginning, with plans to develop exports over the next few years, Pandol said.

Spectrum could include alliances with other grape and stone fruit operations, he said.

Spectrum will retain its Nogales and Sewell,N.J., offices along with its new Delano location, Pandol said.

Pandol finds place as partner in Spectrum