Chris Martin, president of Gourmet Trading Co., headquartered in Los Angeles, died July 23 while on a trip with his wife, Sharon, and their four daughters. He was 48 years old.
Mr. Martin wasWest Coast co-chairman of the Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association and one of the leaders in that industry. Gourmet Trading was established in 1982 as an asparagus and blueberry shipper, and sourced from throughout the world. The company began importing asparagus from New Zealand and Chile in the early 1980s and became involved in the Peruvian industry in the early 1990s.
“Chris and I had a vision many years ago of providing a worldwide supply of asparagus, blueberries and other products to many countries around the world,” Paul Martin, co-owner of Gourmet Trading and Chris’ brother, said in a press release. “Through Chris’ vision and the support of his outstanding staff around the world, Gourmet Trading Co. has become one of the premiere suppliers in our industry.”
Over the years, the firm's involvement expanded to include the ownership of two Peruvian asparagus farms and numerous joint ventures throughout Peru. It also maintains shipping and/or packing operations throughout the United States, including a state-of-the-art packing facility in Washington.
“We mourn the loss of Chris, whose honesty, fairness and integrity have established the lasting values by which our company will continue to operate successfully as we move on,” Paul Martin said in the release.