Charlies Produce - growing through acquisition of local peer

Charlie's Produce - growing through acquisition of local peer

Seattle-based fresh food business Charlie's Produce has bought Better Life Organics (BLO), a Los Angeles-based distributor of organic produce and food products, for an undisclosed sum.

Charlie's Produce said the deal will not only allow it to develop deeper roots in and around Los Angeles but also offer a broader breadth of products, including organic fruits and vegetables from local and international growers.

Jim McDonald, general manager of Charlie's Produce Los Angeles, said: "BLO has an excellent reputation in the Los Angeles market for providing high quality products and service to customers, As a business focused on building fruitful and enduring relationships, we are pleased to have BLO's talented team and loyal customers join the Charlie's Produce family."

Charlie's Produce is an employee-owned, independent produce company which has served the US west coast since 1978. It supplies grocery stores, restaurants, institutions and the marine industry with a range of conventional, organic and speciality produce from a number of distribution centres.

Bill McCoy, BLO's chief executive officer, will join Charlie's Produce in a sales development capacity to "further strengthen customer programmes and provide a smooth transition for customers". German Ruiz, who founded and serves as president of BLO, will join Charlie's Produce team at its Irwindale distribution facility in California and focus on expanding partnerships with organic growers.

McCoy said: "We are happy to be combining with a respected and innovative company that aligns with our values and standards when it comes to fresh food distribution. We look forward to continuing to serve the LA market and providing our customers with strengthened service and product offerings that help their businesses continue to thrive."

Over the last five years, Charlie's Produce has expanded through additional services, produce processing, geographic extension and acquisition. The company opened a new distribution centre in Los Angeles in 2015 and entered Boise in Idaho through the purchase of Northwest Produce.