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Cole brothers ensure inventory at Rosemont Farms

The Cole brothers, Pete, 25, and Eric, 28, have all the supply angles covered for Rosemont Farms Corp. in Boca Raton, FL.

Pete is a quality-control inspector. "Bird-dog is what they call us in the industry." As for Eric, "Currently I work in sales and I manage the inventory for the warehouses in North Carolina." He focuses on Eastern vegetables. Although he handles some sales duties, "mostly buying and managing the inventory is my main focus."

The Cole family moved around the United States a lot when the two brothers were growing up, and there were also stints spent abroad. "We kind of moved around a lot," Pete said. The family lived in places such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and California, and also in West Germany for four years. "That was very interesting, although I was very young," Pete said. All the transplanting was due to the requirements of the Cole brothers? father?s employment in the produce industry. "My father has been in the produce industry for as long as I have been alive," Pete said.

Because of his father?s career, "I already knew a lot of people in the produce industry. It was a logical next step? after graduating from Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA. It is often said that hindsight is 20-20. "It wasn?t really the plan I had or else I probably would have studied something else in school? and not history, Pete said. Although, he added, "I was just interested in studying history. I couldn?t imagine studying anything else."

After "I interviewed for a lot of jobs in a lot of different fields," he started to consider the produce industry. "I knew a few people who worked for Rosemont," he said. Living in Cincinnati, "coming to South Florida seemed like a good idea. I knew it was a growing company and a good place where I could start a career."

Eric had already been in the produce industry for some time at that point, working for the Castellini Co. in Cincinnati. "I was a buyer and salesman," he said. "I was on vacation in Florida, and an opportunity came together? at Rosemont. "My brother and my dad work in Florida, so I decided to come down here."

With Rosemont, Eric has not felt any impediment from being a younger member of the industry, noting how much he has learned. "People might be more willing to help? someone younger and newer, he said.

Additionally, his youth is beneficial because "the knowledge of technology I have coming out of college has probably been a little bit of a help."

Pete felt about the same. "I think people see potential in someone younger. I think it is probably the best way to get started in the industry." He said he expected there would be a fair amount of people in the industry thinking, "?This guy doesn?t know what he is talking about." But you get over that in time," he said, adding jokingly, "I?d certainly rather be young than old."

While at Penn State, Eric played for the school?s football team as offensive guard and center. He was a starter for the last three of his five years at the school, spending his first year red-shirted and his second as a backup.

?I signed with the Washington Redskins out of college and I got cut," he said. While working with Castellini, "I actually left to play for the New York-New Jersey Hitmen XFL team? as a center. "It was great. I got to play a full year of pro ball. It was a good experience." The team had a 4-6 record. "I was a starter for seven games. I suited up but didn?t play the last three games? due to a groin injury.

Asked how much the two brothers work together at Rosemont, Pete said, "[Eric] is down there in the office. We talk more or less on a daily basis, mostly about work. We get along great." He said that they actually work together only "here and there." They are used to being together, though. They played football together in high school, went to Penn State together, have lived together and share a lot of common friends. Working together was a natural progression for the Cole brothers.