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Ready Pac Foods founder Dennis Gertmenian, 62, who came out of retirement two and half years ago to help lead the company back to profitability, is now planning to retire as c.e.o.
“Ready Pac has never been in better shape to serve our customers with a tremendous line up of innovative products and services,” said Gertmenian. “We have a great management team in place led by Michael Solomon, our president. We’re profitable, we came off a record year, we’re at the forefront of the industry again and the future looks bright.”
The vision that eventually became Ready Pac Foods was born 40 years ago in a corner of Gertmenian’s father’s produce warehouse. While his father was away on vacation, Gertmenian received a demand from his father’s largest account to provide them with salad mix rather than whole produce. Not wanting to lose his father’s account, he purchased the equipment necessary, including a large bathtub, and began serving the customer within three days.
In turn, Gertmenian pioneered fresh-cut produce for the foodservice industry, founding Ready Pac Produce in 1969. Soon thereafter, seeing another opportunity, Ready Pac began distributing fresh-cut salads to supermarkets to meet consumers’ desires for ready-to-eat meals.
Ready Pac, along with its subsidiaries Missa Bay and OBIM, have plants and offices throughout the U.S. with annual sales in excess of $750 million and more than 4,000 employees, making it one of the largest providers of fresh-cut produce in the nation.
Although Gertmenian will continue to serve as a member of Ready Pac’s board, he insists he will not have an office waiting for him. “It’s time,” he said.