(Sept. 17) GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. —Building upon his industry contacts, a produce publishing industry sales veteran has joined the sales desk of a Grand Rapids-based apple grower-shipper-marketer.

Marty Nicholson, formerly in sales with The Packer and The Produce News, Sept. 8 joined Greenridge Fruit as national sales director.

“I have always felt very comfortable with the people in Michigan,” he said.

After his daughter and son moved out of the home and went to college, Nicholson said this was a good time to make a major move into produce sales.

“It’s something I have always been interested in trying,” he said. “Every day is different. There’s a lot more to selling produce than the buying and selling. There’s the working with trucks.”

Nicholson has 21 years in the produce business, working as Eastern and Western sales manager for The Packer from 1977-1986. After working in other sales and management positions, he joined The Produce News in 1991 and served as the publication’s associate publisher from 1993-2003.

Nicholson’s industry contacts help the packer-shipper and the Michigan apple deal, said Darryl Frey, Greenridge Fruit’s president.

“I think he will be a very positive addition,” he said.

Nicholson said he has always enjoyed working with shippers and said he plans to use his many contacts to help Greenridge ship apples all over the U.S. to retail, wholesale and foodservice customers.

Frey said Michigan growers this year did a good job of thinning their apples and have produced a quality crop that customers will welcome.

Nicholson said this season’s larger crop will be more manageable.

Founded in 1990, Greenridge Fruit markets fruit for 40 to 50 Michigan growers through five packing sheds.