Valley Fruit & Produce, a full-line wholesale distributor based in Los Angeles, announced the hiring of DON STALCUP as division manager and RAY IWAMOTO as berry category manager.
Stalcup has 46 years of retail produce experience, including 25 years at Albertsons as head of the produce department and the corporate trainer. After Albertsons, he served as vice president of produce for Food 4 Less, followed by a period serving in the same capacity for KV Mart.
At Valley, Stalcup is overseeing all aspects of retail management.
“Our retail management division specializes in helping independent retail operators compete with chains by providing them with direct store deliveries, weekly ads with suggested retail pricing, weekend pushes, special buy opportunities and in-store merchandising and marketing help,” Carrie La Londe, chief financial officer of Valley Fruit & Produce, said in a press release. “We already have a good team in place, but we are excited that Don’s leadership will lead to the development of additional services, in addition to improving our existing ones, to help our customers grow their produce business.”
As berry category manager, Iwamoto is responsible for managing inventories, maintaining relationships with growers, and ensuring that needs across all customer channels are met.
“Don La Londe continues to also be responsible for the berry category, but this category is so historically important for Valley and continues to be a signature department for us, we definitely have room for two experts,” Doug La Londe, chief operating officer for Valley, said in a press release. “Adding Ray’s expertise and grower relationships to Don’s widens our knowledge of the growers, the field conditions, market fluctuations, and potential transportation issues. Ray will help us continue to provide our customers with the best berries and the most up-to-date information.”
After 23 years on the retail side of the business, Iwamoto joined the supply side as manager of the Giumarra International Berry Division.
Prior to joining Valley, he spent eight years as District Manager for Sunrise Growers, a strawberry shipper based in Placentia, CA.
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