Jim Matiasevich, Co-Founder and President of Veg-Land Sales, Passes Away

Jim Matiasevich, Co-Founder and President of Veg-Land Sales, Passes Away

WATSONVILLE, CA - We are saddened to announce that Jim Matiasevich, Co-Founder and President of Veg-Land Sales and its subsidiaries, passed away on January 28 at the age of 76.

Born and raised in Watsonville, California, Matiasevich had a passion for football and produce, a release stated. He was an All-City fullback in high school, then played for two years at Cabrillo Junior College before moving on to play at the University of Montana. After a year, he moved back to Watsonville, where he started his produce career.

Matiasevich began his time in the industry in the frozen foods division of JJ Crosetti, and after a couple of years, he moved to the sales department. In the mid-1970s, he and his brother John were asked by an Executive from Safeway Stores if they would move to Southern California to start a consolidation warehouse business to handle the retailer’s orders.

This move marked the start of Veg-Land, which was founded in 1976 in La Habra, CA. One year later, the brothers added Veg-Land Sales—a sales component focused on strawberries—to expand the consolidation operation. In 1979, further growth got underway as the company established Flowerland, a floral distribution company run by his brother, John.

In March 2017, Matiasevich and his son Jimmy bought sole ownership of the four companies from his brother and nephew, Johnny. The companies continue to thrive today.

On top of his business acumen, Matiasevich is remembered for his great memory and attention to his employees.

“But he also could remember almost every special occasion or problem his employees would have going on in their lives,” said Veg-Land General Manager Dominic Etcheberria. “He was generous with employees helping some purchase their first homes. He has touched the lives of many over the years and will be greatly missed.”

Matiasevich is survived by his wife Dorothy, sons Jimmy and Jeff, and grandchildren Jimmy Jr. and Jewels. He is also survived by his brothers, John and Bob.

Our hearts go out to those mourning the loss of this wonderful leader.