Jul 22, 2020
Rice Fruit Co. kicks off 108th season

 Brenda Briggs, VP sales and marketing and Ben Rice, president. Photo: Valerie M. Ramsburg

Rice Fruit Co., a packer of premium eastern apples in Gardners, Pennsylvania, kicks off its 108th season this fall with a delicious crop. Founded in 1913 in nearby Biglerville, the company moved its packing operation to the current location in the 1950’s. Known in the business for staying at the front edge of technology and developing its own processes when necessary, among consumers the Rice name is famous for crispy, tasty, local apples.

“COVID definitely changed how we work at our facility, and safety for our essential workers is always top of mind,” Brenda Briggs, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a news release, “and as we adapt, our core mission remains, and this is our commitment to providing delicious, high-quality, local apples to the eastern United States.” Our crop was slightly impacted due to some cold weather in April, but we will receive plenty of apples from over 30 grower families, most located within 40 miles of our plant.”

Ben Rice, president, and one of three members of the fourth generation in a leadership position at the company, adds, “The last few months have been very challenging. But each day, we are adding another page to our long history. We are proud of our past, we love what we do, and our passion for this business keeps us excited for the future and always thinking about what comes next.”

To that end, the marketing team has been busy updating and developing bags and pouches for the upcoming season to meet increased interest in packaged products. Rice Fruit offers a wide range of apple varieties, from those gaining a wider interest such as EverCrisp, to foundation varieties such as Honeycrisp and Fuji. In the last few years, the company also developed a relationship with Ocean Crisp, a supplier of high-quality Nova Scotian Honeycrisp, to extend availability of this key variety.

A Google search reveals that the modern gift for a 100th wedding anniversary is a 10-carat diamond. Congratulations, Rice Fruit Co.We don’t have any diamonds for your 108th  year, but we hope you enjoy the beauty and resilience that these gems represent.

 Brenda Briggs, VP sales and marketing and Ben Rice, president. Photo: Valerie M. Ramsburg

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Fruit Growers News August 2020 cover
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