Many of North Bay Produce's family of growers are second, third and even fourth-generation farmers. Those years of experience bring extensive knowledge and know-how in growing some of the finest fruits and vegetables throughout the world.
Meet some below:
Ken Schwallier Orchards, Inc., is a grower and packer of high-quality apples located in West Michigan. In the late 1800’s, Ken’s great grandfather, Henry Kramer, started a dairy operation in Coopersville, MI. When Ken’s grandmother Viola Kramer married Henry Schwallier in 1919, they took over the family farm. Because of the close proximity to Lake Michigan and its moderate climate which is ideal for growing apples, they planted their first apple trees in 1922. By the mid 1940’s they primarily produced apples and continued to grow and innovate the business, eventually adding a packinghouse. In the 1950’s, Schwallier Orchards was one of the first in the state to have a controlled atmosphere storage facility. This allowed them to keep apples fresh throughout the year. The next generation, George and Dorothy Schwallier, continued to develop and grow the farm while raising eleven children. One of those children, Ken, with his wife Joan, are now the stewards of the family farm. To keep up with today’s market demands, they continually update and improve their 200+ acre farm with many different varieties of apples. They have embraced modern technologies in the packing and storage facility and have a dedication to apple quality and food safety. This allows them to pack and ship their own apples, and the apples of many other growers, to customers all over the world. Ken’s daughter Anna, and her husband Bob Jonaitis, are the fifth generation to operate the business. They have brought their expertise and ideas to continue in the family tradition of growing and packing healthy, great tasting apples.
In the picturesque Peruvian Cordillera Blanca Mountain Range, an area of the Andes Mountains, blueberries, snow peas, and sugar snap peas are grown. This beautiful farm called Green and Flowers benefits from the unique climate at an average of 7,400 feet above sea level. Water for these crops is provided by the thaw of snowmelt from the mountains. Blueberries are harvested from August through December while the snow peas and sugar snaps are picked from May until October. Besides the picturesque setting, the crops benefit from the perfect growing conditions and North Bay Produce customers benefit by the great, fresh tastes.
In Central Florida the Hill and Atwood families came together to provide a service to the local community as well as a direct source of sales to retail chains. That was 1952. Today H&A Farms continues to serve their area but also helps North Bay Produce provide great fresh produce throughout the year and all around the world. H&A Farms is a grower owned and operated blueberry packing facility that has extensive experience in growing fresh fruits and vegetables while providing the safest and highest quality product to consumers on a daily basis. Doing things right assures that their crops are harvested with high maturity and full flavor… just the way you like it and the backbone to our business.
In 1987 in the Chilean borough of Cato, Coihueco, Agrícola Cato began by planting fruit trees. A few years later blueberries and then cherries came along. As these fruits were immediately hits with local and export customers, Agrícola Cato established their own blueberry and cherry packinghouses, as well as the necessary infrastructure to produce, pack and directly export to various markets. Because this farm has been well managed, it has steadily grown over the years so that today it is one of the foremost farms in Chile. As the family that owns this farm believes that it is better to lead than follow, they are forerunners in organic fruits so that the only blueberries grown at Agrícola Cato are organic. Efficiency is also critical so all of the production and administration facilities, including those for foreign trade, are located within the farm, which enables a smoother and more efficient management of the operations. This assures that North Bay Produce customers have the best fruits and vegetables available and that they are delivered to your table fresh from their fields and never from third parties.