With Growth in Mind,Salem’s Oregon Fruit Products Transitions to New Ownership

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(Salem, Oregon) After more than 76 years of local family ownership Oregon Fruit Products has announced that the company will transition to new ownership, according to the company’s president, Joe Peterson.

The new owners are a family run investment company lead by Ed Maletis, best known for their ownership position in Columbia Distributing, the largest beverage distributor in the Pacific Northwest.

Coincidentally, both Oregon Fruit Products and Columbia Distributing were founded in 1935 and third generation family members Paul Gehlar and Ed Maletis represent the current ownership of each company, respectively.

Paul Gehlar said in selling Oregon Fruit Products that it has been important to value the contributions of the employees and growers while creating new opportunities for the company and its partners. The goal has been for the business to remain in the heart of Oregon’s fruit growing region as well as to secure the best possible position for current employees and local farm producers.

Peterson said several purchase offers were considered, however, the Maletis family best fit the family run business style of Oregon Fruit Products.

“While Gehlar’s retirement may have been among the key reasons for the sale, growth of the business was also central to the discussion,” Peterson added.

With a history of strong sales throughout the U.S. and steady expansion of its international business, the growth potential for Oregon Fruit Products is tremendous. However, with that comes the need for expansion capital and core leadership with the desire to invest in all areas of the business. “Ed Maletis and his family embrace that commitment and we couldn’t be more pleased to see this deal come together for all of us. Oregon Fruit Products is poised to continue to showcase Oregon and the many products from this region,” Peterson added.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Paul Gehlar and his family,” Peterson concluded. “They haven’t just been building a business here in Salem for the past 76 years, they helped build a community, something we should never forget.”

For more information on the future of Oregon Fruit Products, please contact Joe Peterson at (503) 581-6211.

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