In a move that will better serve its customers, Chuck Olsen Co. Inc. in Visalia, CA, has partnered with The DiMare Co. Indio as its sales agent.
“We are going to be the exclusive sales agent for The DiMare Company Indio,” Jeff Olsen, a sales representative for Chuck Olsen Co., told The Produce News. “In this agreement, we will be offering a full line of citrus: lemons, oranges, mercots, oranges and grapefruit. The program will start in mid-September and run through July. We will also be able to offer consolidation services in this program through Indio, California.” The DiMare Co. Indio is a wholly owned subsidiary of DiMare Inc. in Boston.
Mr. Olsen told The Produce News that Chuck Olsen Co. will be exhibiting at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Convention & Exposition in Monterey, CA, June 29-31 at booth number 129. Tom Salisbury and Dave Perez, also sales representatives for the firm, will join him at the booth.
The company is a year-round supplier of table grapes and citrus, and it also distributes a full line of tree fruits and vegetables. Its labels are “Stagecoach,” “Wagon Train” and “Tulare Chief.”
“We’ll be displaying our regular lemons, oranges, melons and grapes at the expo,” said Mr. Olsen. “These items are highly beneficial for foodservice operations. This season, there are several sets on the lemon trees, and supplies will be available from November through May. Our citrus production in California has been pretty fair, and the quality is good on Valencia oranges currently. It’s a nice, manageable crop, and the markets are OK at this time.”
Between 40 percent and 50 percent of the company’s business is selling direct to users, and its products are shipped throughout the United States and into Canada. In the foodservice sector, the firm sells to the full range of categories — from high-end restaurants to fast-food establishments.
Mr. Olsen said that the company is seeing peaks of resurgence from the drop in foodservice business caused by the recession of the past couple years. “It’s still not quite as steady at the high-end restaurant level,” he said. “There are peaks and valleys, but increases are pretty consistent.”
Dave Perez joined the company on May 1 this year. “Dave’s been in the produce business for 20 years, so he comes to us with a lot of experience,” said Mr. Olsen. “We are glad to have him onboard, and we feel that he will be a great asset to the Chuck Olsen team.
The company is a fourth-generation grower, packer and shipper. It was founded in 1910 in California’s San Joaquin Valley. It handles a full line of citrus, including Navel oranges, lemons, Valencia oranges, clementines, grapefruit and limes on a year-round basis.
“Our citrus line is produced primarily in California, which enjoys year-round production,” said Mr. Olsen. “We also bring some lemons in from Chile in the summer months. California Navel oranges run from November to the end of June. Valencia oranges start in May and run through about the end of October.
Chuck Olsen Co. also offers consolidation services and frequently provides that service in California’s Salinas Valley. It also has a facility in Yuma, AZ, and it operates seasonally from both areas. Its consolidation services enable the company to bring fruits and vegetables together to provide a one-stop, one-dock service to its customers.