Glenmont, N.Y. (September 4, 2018) – This spring, the principals of Red Jacket Orchards (Geneva, N.Y.) and New York Apple Sales, Inc. (Glenmont, N.Y.) agreed to join their fresh apple marketing programs to provide better service and more opportunities for their customers.
Red Jacket Orchards (RJO) is a powerhouse in the All Natural, Cold Pressed Juice and Cider category, and has built up the Red Jacket® brand in the beverage and fresh apple category over multiple family generations. New York Apple Sales (NYAS), likewise, is a multigenerational family business that has built a reputation for delivering high-quality apples to large retailers nationally as well as internationally.
“Bringing our two sales forces together to better serve the apple and juice markets only makes sense. Presently, we are serving customers at the same time with either fresh apples or fresh juice, and with today’s increasing pressure on trucking logistics combining our orders will greatly benefit both of our customers,” commented Mark Nicholson, Fresh Business President and Co-owner of RJO. “Our plan is for the RJO sales force to continue managing the juice sales, while NYAS will focus on the fresh apple category. Both teams will continue to concentrate on what they do best. Additionally, NYAS’s much larger distribution network will be a huge benefit for both our companies, and more importantly for our customers,” Nicholson added. Mike Messler, Production and Logistics manager for New York Apple Sales said, “because of new federal regulations trucking can be a huge problem today. The cost of trucking is increasing while the availability of trucks is decreasing. Any consolidation of orders will benefit us all. Also, the RJO juice plant is within 35 miles of the NYAS packing operation where the RJO apples
will be packed.”
“RJO has built its brand for fresh apples for decades, and over the years has developed a sizeable following in New York City and other regional markets. We are pleased to now be able to continue the brand penetration with the RJO label in their existing markets as well as expanding into new markets,” commented John Cushing, VP of Sales for NYAS. “We are excited about having the RJO fresh apple brand in our wheelhouse. Already I can see the synergies that will take place with customers we are both serving. They do juice, we do apples. It is a great fit! In the future we expect that we can expand both categories.”
“Both of our companies have deep roots in the New York Apple industry. My Step-dad, Marty Michelson, founder of New York Apple Sales, and Joe Nicholson of RJO were both industry leaders in the N.Y. apple Industry. Both Joe and Marty were individual entrepreneurs, but they both shared a common goal to grow New York State’s apple industry. With our two companies working together today, we are continuing that goal,” said Kaari Stannard, owner of New York Apple Sales.
The Nicholson brothers couldn’t agree more. “The transition of a family business from one generation to the next is fraught with challenge, however, we just completed the most recent step in that process when Mark and I purchased our father’s portion of the company. Similar to how he spearheaded the company’s growth from a roadside retailer into a commercial apple grower, packer, and shipper after our grandfather retired in the early 1980’s, we have set our strategic goals high as well. Mark and I are intent on building a world class beverage company that is also well grounded in the production of its main raw ingredient in the apple orchard,” commented Brian Nicholson, CEO and Co-owner of RJO. “After examining the opportunities afforded by packing, selling, and distributing through NYAS, and specifically their Pomona Packing partners in Wolcott, N.Y., we decided to cease our fresh apple packing operations in Geneva and move our apples there,” added Brian. RJO will continue to pack summer fruits at their Geneva location.
Kelli Foster manages the branding efforts for RJO, and Jim Allen is her counterpart at NYAS. “Kelli has been a ‘Brand’ builder for RJO and we are looking forward to working with her on all levels,” remarked Allen, VP of Marketing at NYAS. “There’s a wonderful strategic advantage when you can combine an operational power house like NYAS, and a trusted brand of the community like Red Jacket. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together,” Added Foster, Director of Brand Management.
About New York Apple Sales, Inc.
NYAS teams up with multiple growers and packing facilities located in all the major growing regions in New York State. Our goal is to deliver the best selection, competitive pricing, and superior fruit all year long.
About Red Jacket Orchards
Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State along the rolling hills of Seneca Lake, RJO has mastered the art of harvesting and pressing premium fruits and juices! Three generations of the Nicholson family have grown apples and summer fruits, including berries, currants, cherries, peaches, plums and the largest apricot orchard on the East Coast. Founded in 1958, what began as a local apple farm has grown to a 600-acre family orchard. In addition to producing fresh fare, we offer a range of cold-pressed, all-natural juices and pantry items.