The history and heritage of Rivermaid Trading Company are essential chapters in a story that continues to be written about our people, our innovation and every bite of fruit we bring to market.
The 1930s – Planting the seeds of success
The Rivermaid name dates back to the 1930s, when a small fruit packer called American Fruit Growers introduced the Rivermaid label – a tribute to the company’s location near Northern California’s scenic and legendary Sacramento River.
In the 1950s, American Fruit Growers was purchased by the Eadington Davis Company which, at the time, operated packing houses in the California communities of Lodi, Walnut Grove, Brentwood and Newcastle. The company also purchased All State Growers and Shippers, a name that was soon shortened to All State Packers. At a time when its competitors were largely marketing-focused, All State Packers bucked the tide by focusing on grower relationships – an unusual idea at the time but one that continues to drive the company today.
During the 1960s, American Fruit Growers owned more than 50 fruit packing operations in California.
While the company was enjoying growth and success in the 1960s, Chiles Wilson and Brian Machado met in grammar school in Walnut Grove, California establishing a friendship and forging a path that would one day intersect with that of All State Packers.
In 1972, both Chiles and Brian worked summer jobs for All State Packers, ultimately leading to careers that found Chiles in the fields and Brian in sales. When the Eadington Davis company purchased the Maggio Company in Lodi in 1979, Chiles and Brian were entrusted with the operation of All State Packers.
In an age in which other growing/packing operations contracted with outside sales companies, Carmelo Maggio suggested to Chiles and Brian they handle their sales in-house – another revolutionary idea that helped All State Packers determine its own destiny.
After a decade of growth and expansion in the 1980s, All State Packers entered the 1990s with strong performance in the wholesale/broker side of the business – a track record of success that led Chiles and Brian to buy out the Eadington Davis Company and all other partners in 1993. That same year, All State Packers unveiled a new logo that launched a fresh era of marketing for the company – an era that included a redesign of the iconic Rivermaid label, and a purchase of the popular Blue Anchor label when that company ceased operation.
It was during the 1990s that Peter Craig took over packing operations, establishing production efficiencies and preparing the operation for sustained growth. In 1995 Chuck Baker took over the farming operations as the Director of Agriculture.
By 2000, All State Packers was in the midst of dramatically expanding its grower base and packing capabilities, leading the company to become California’s largest pear growing and packing operation.
In 2003, Patrick Archibeque joined All State Packers and developed a sales and marketing team capable of serving large national retail accounts. So significant was Patrick’s impact that, by the end of the decade, he was named CEO of All State Packers.
In 2010, All State Packers renamed itself Rivermaid Trading Company – a tribute to the iconic label that has been so closely associated with the company throughout its long journey. The new name represented more than just a marketing makeover – it helped solidify the company as a pear and cherry category leader, securing its future as an integrated growing, packing and shipping organization effectively serving the global marketplace.
Today – Serving the world
Patrick Archibeque continues to serve as the CEO of Rivermaid Trading Company, and Chiles and Brian remain as owners. All are deeply involved in the company’s day-to-day operations.
With plant operations centralized in Lodi, California, Rivermaid Trading Company handles all varieties of pears and cherries from the major growing regions of Central and Northern California and Oregon.
The company owns and manages 7,600 acres, and operates 80,000 sq. ft. of packing facilities. These packing operations include 5 pear packing lines, 2 cherry packing lines with automated clamshell and bagging capabilities and 7 forced-air cooling tunnels to help maintain flavor after fruit conditioning or packing.
Rivermaid Trading Company also operates 150,000 sq. ft. of racked cold storage with ethylene monitoring to ensure optimum storage conditions. Conditioning rooms and modular conditioning units enable the conditioning of one load at a time with the most precise management available. And because Rivermaid Trading Company uses modified atmosphere (MA) technology to create an unsurpassed long-term storage environment, it allows the company to pack-to-order rather than merely to move fruit.
Innovation has always played a pivotal role in the success of Rivermaid Trading Company, and continues to drive us as we pioneer new ways to serve international markets with the finest produce on the planet.