Industry Veteran David Cook to Retire After 44 Years
David Cook, a 44-year veteran in fresh produce, is retiring in June after a long and successful career with Deardorff Family Farms, Bud Antle Inc. (now Tanimura & Antle), Cook Produce, and Pacific Fruit and Produce (now Amerifresh), according to a press release.
Since 1982, David has worked in sales for Deardorff Family Farms selling mixed vegetable items, berries, and tomatoes. In 1994, when Bill Deardorff, the third generation member of the business, suddenly passed away, David took on a Sales Manager position and continued to maintain the company’s strong position thanks to his hard work and respect for the customer.
“The people; the Deardorffs are a good family and run a good, smart business,” said David. “They have been loyal to me and have taken care of me. And with such a diverse product offering, I had a chance in many arenas, allowing me to learn and grow quickly.”
Before joining Deardorff, David worked with his father at Cook Produce in 1970, supervising the iceberg lettuce harvesting crews. He eventually moved to the sales office where he discovered his passion for produce sales. In 1975 when his father dissolved Cook Produce, David went to work for Pacific Fruit and Produce (now Amerifresh) in Phoenix, where he began working as a buyer and inspector.
Tom Deardorff, II, President of Deardorff Family Farms, says, “[David] will be missed immenself for what he does, but will be missed even more for how he does it. David defines how it should be done – honesty, loyalty, integrity, and hard work. On behalf of everyone at Deardorff Family Farms, we wish him the best in retirement.”
For those who are up and coming to the produce sales industry, David has a few words of advice… “Be the first to show up! This business is made of lots of early risers. And for me, being able to start and end my day earlier allowed me to do more with my kids and be involved with all their after-school activities – that was really important.”
After leaving Deardorff, David will first celebrate his son’s wedding in mid-June, then go on a few trips with his wife. He will pursue a part-time volunteer job at the Oxnard Public Library literacy program helping English language learners for a few hours per week.
On behalf of everyone in the produce industry, we thank you for your work, David, and wish you the best of times in your retirement!
Deardorff Family Farms