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Poised for the future, All State Packers assembles an expert team and becomes Rivermaid Trading Co.

by | February 01, 2011
LODI, CA -- In the 1980s, Chiles Wilson and Brian Machado took over ownership of All State Packers. They built their business growing and packing Bartlett pears and Bing cherries, primarily in the Sacramento River and Lodi regions of California.

Fast-forward to the present day, and All State Packers is among the world's larger growers and marketers of pears, and one of California's leading shippers of cherries and asparagus. Nearly 30 years after taking over the All State operation, Messrs. Wilson and Machado are announcing exciting strategic changes to their operation and staff as it readies for the future.

"Over the past few years, our growth forced us to evaluate how we do business from top to bottom," Mr. Wilson said in a Feb. 2 press release. "We have fine-tuned our operation from the orchards through marketing, to the point where we feel we are the best at what we do. And now, with the dissolution of the California Pear Advisory Board marketing program, we have assembled what I think is the best team in the business and created our own strategic marketing effort."

Three internal promotions are at the center of the organization's change: Patrick Archibeque, previously All State's chief operating officer, has been promoted to chief executive officer; Peter Craig, previously All State's production manager, has been promoted to chief operating officer; and Larelle Miller, previously All State's leading sales representative, has been promoted to sales manager.

"This is an excellent team to lead -- a passionate, veteran team of pear and cherry experts," Mr. Archibeque said in the release. "Not only have we promoted from within, but we've brought in Ken Carter, previously with Sabroso and Carter Thomas, as marketing strategist, and David Anderson of Anderson Fruit Sales & Marketing to lead business development and merchandising efforts. We've also tapped veteran fresh produce brand development specialists MJR Creative Group to add power to our program."

The organization's change will be evident even in its name, as All State Packers sets aside years of history to rename itself Rivermaid Trading Co.

"The name All State Packers is no longer representative of the where the organization is today and certainly not indicative of where we are headed," Mr. Archibeque explained in the release. "The company is not only a packing operation, it has its own farming operations, it manages a number of grower relationships and it has been reorganized as a sophisticated year-round marketing company. 'Rivermaid' is a legacy label of All State Packers dating back to the 1930s, and has long been a part of our company culture and DNA. Rivers are the life source of every agricultural region in the world, and we feel Rivermaid Trading Company is a fitting name for an emerging global fresh produce company."

"We are 100 percent focused -- the entire operation -- on the retail customer's needs and on delivering a product that is consistently satisfying to consumers," Ms. Miller said in the release. "This organization's best years are in front of us, and I'm excited to introduce this hot new company to customers."

The brands shipped under the new Rivermaid Trading Co. name will include “Rivermaid,” “Blue Anchor,” “Golden Glow,” “Joe Green,” “Pixie Pears,” “Quercus Lake” and “Redwood Empire.”