Loading…

Greenhouse pioneer retires from Sun Valley Farms

After 26 years in the USA Greenhouse industry, Dave Fahrenbruch is retiring from Sun Valley Farms Inc. of Loveland, CO. In 1993 Fahrenbruch started with Colorado Greenhouse as the vice president of sales and marketing, responsible for over 260 acres of production with greenhouse sites in Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico. Six years later he left and co-founded SunBlest Farms, a niche 12-acre greenhouse grower in Payton, CO, and stewarded the company’s expansion by acquiring most of the Colorado Greenhouse’s assets from bankruptcy protection, growing SunBlest to 194 acres when he left the company in 2004.IMG 6268

Having built an incredible network of growers and retailers, Fahrenbruch shifted gears from growing operations to greenhouse marketing, starting Sun Valley Farms Inc. in Loveland. By 2007, Sun Valley marketed for a network of growers with 170 acres greenhouses in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, New York, Virginia and Mexico. At the time, it was listed as the fifth-largest greenhouse producer in the United States. As the industry shifted and the smaller greenhouses that made up SVF acreage were acquired and consolidated by larger industry players, Fahrenbruch revised the model and began working with large greenhouse producers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to sustain the company's position in the industry and meet retail customers’ demands.  

In 2015, Sun Valley was acquired by Houweling’s Group, with Fahrenbruch staying on as the chief executive officer until his retirement this December. Alongside him for most of the way has been Craig Olson, vice president of sales at Sun Valley.

“I’ve spent 23 years working with Dave and couldn’t have had a better mentor to work with throughout my career," said Olson. "His passion for detail and never ending desire to be the best was his trademark and he wouldn’t except anything less. Dave’s ability to adapt to an industry that has changed immensely over the course of two decades and build a successful company with high level retail partners is nothing less than a gold medal achievement in my books. I will miss seeing him every day in the office, beyond our excellent working relationship over the years, I’m proud to call him my best friend.“

With Fahrenbruch’s retirement, Olson will follow in his mentor’s footsteps as he has been named general manager of Houweling’s Colorado, an updated d.b.a. for Sun Valley Inc. to better reflect that office’s position as an integral location in Houweling’s Group of companies servicing retailers in Canada and the USA.

Having counted Fahrenbruch as a competitor, a customer and colleague over his career,  Houweling’s Group CEO Kevin Doran said,  “Dave is a formidable entrepreneur and leader who has contributed greatly to our business, he will most certainly be missed. He leaves behind a great team in Loveland, and with the leadership going forward of Craig Olson, the successes are sure to continue.”

In retirement Fahrenbruch will have the opportunity to spend more time with his wife, Deidra; daughters Shallyn, Kaelyn and Ashlyn; and step-son, Denton, while continuing to foster his passion for classic cars and motorcycles.

United Fresh LIVE! Community – Collaboration – Innovation
United Fresh LIVE! is a response to an unprecedented challenge to our industry and our world. While citizens around the globe are social distancing and avoiding physical connections, our industry must continue to find creative ways to continue doing business, and trade shows are a large part of that strategy for the fresh Read More ...
Kroger expands plans for high-tech fulfillment centers
The Kroger Family of Cos. and Ocado announced the continued expansion of their partnership with plans to construct three new customer fulfillment centers in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and West regions.   "Kroger is incredibly excited to construct three additional industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers across Read More ...
Onions 52 welcomes Food Lion's Clay Jones to sales team
Onions 52 Inc. has welcomed Clay Jones to its sales and business development team. Jones is based in San Antonio, TX, and will be focusing on new account development and expanding business with current customers. “We could not be happier to have Clay join our team,” said Shawn Hartley, vice president of sales. “With Clay’s Read More ...
Simple labeling changes can escalate sales
Simple changes on a produce packaging label can drastically influence consumer purchases of that product. Tony Cook, chief executive officer of Great Lakes Label LLC, said his customers have seen this immediately build retail sales by as much as 30 percent. Cook, who in 1994 started the company in Comstock, MI, credits the Read More ...
Tops' new safety and risk leader
Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania and Vermont, promoted Natalie Fisher to manager of safety and risk for the company. Fisher began her career with Tops in the stores in 2001 and was promoted to various roles until her appointment as safety specialist for the Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse