With this issue, PRODUCE BUSINESS begins its fourth year of service to the industry, and we begin it in grand style. The issue you hold in your hands is our largest issue to date. This issue contains more of the compelling business-oriented editorial that helps our readers do their job or run their business better. It is this editorial content, combined with the advantages of our monthly high-quality format that has made PRODUCE BUSINESS so very well read.
This issue also contains more advertising than any previous issue. This outpouring of support, from the finest organizations in our field, stands as testimony to the industry’s extraordinary support of the PRODUCE BUSINESS concept. After decades in which other industries were being served by monthly business magazines, the produce trade was anxious to support the birth of a new medium, a new voice which would speak out in service to the men and woman of the industry.
I can still remember back in the autumn of 1985 when we were preparing to launch PRODUCE BUSINESS. I remember one night, around 2:00 AM, Ken Whitacre and I drove to the giant central post office on 34th Street and 9th Avenue in Manhattan. We were dropping our first mailing for subscription and advertising promotions, and I can still remember the feeling in my hand as I dropped each bundle into the box. They were only letters and now, with what I know today, they weren’t even very goods ones. But those letters carried with them the hopes and dreams of two young men. And as Ken and I drove away from the Post Office that night our feelings were so confused; relief that we had gotten that job done, an anticipation that all over the world our promotions were spreading, and worry – what if nobody cared what we had to say?
Well, they did care, and in fact, I was to quickly learn that a magazine can never belong to one person or even two people. It is always the property of all those who read it and advertise in it, who write for it and produce it, who funds it and sell it, who print it and mail it. But especially, a magazine belongs to its readers, for they are the ones who truly give it life. They take the inanimate words off the paper and give those words life by utilizing them in their business and in their job and in their life.
How the world changes! I wrote a column a little while back about branded produce, and the requests started coming in for permission to reprint it. I wrote about the sale of my family’s business and got calls from so many to tell me about the time they had sold their business and to let me know I hit the nail on the head. And then some absolutely fantastic calls come out of the blue. Jimmy Georgallus, of Pacific Fruit, Inc. called me one day. I had never spoken to him in my life. He told me about a time 30 years ago when my dad and he used to receive bananas on the old Grace Line. He explained he has been in the industry since he was eight years old, that he is now 64, and that he wanted to call to let me know what a pleasure it was to read something written by someone who knows what he’s talking about. A few words such as these make up for a lot of late nights at work.
But the best is yet to come. All of us here at PRODUCE BUSINESS are dedicated to the constant improvement of this magazine. Making it more useful to the trade in order to help our readers increase sales and profits. In this very issue you will see an enhanced editorial package, and in the months to come, we will be unveiling a variety of exciting new features.
But it seems to me that a birthday such as this should be a time for giving thanks. Our readers have to come first. They make everything else possible. I especially would like to thank those among our readers who have ever taken a moment to drop a note or give a call. Whether compliment or criticism, their participation makes this a better magazine and is always very welcome. Next our advertisers, whose ads contain valuable information that makes PRODUCE BUSINESS more useful to our readers and whose financial support enables us to put out such a high-quality product. Our advertisers not only help themselves, but perform a public service by supporting the flow of industry ideas each time they support PRODUCE BUSINESS.
And so many individuals get a part of the credit. Our fine editorial staff and dedicated salespeople. A production staff and suppliers who treat each page as a work of art. Altogether a team dedicated to making each issue of PRODUCE BUSINESS the best it can be.
I want to extend a very special note of appreciation to a few extraordinary individuals who had the insight to support this project from its earliest days. First, the hero of this publication is Ken Whitacre, whose sleepless nights and vacationless years have built this publication to what it is today. His ceaseless devotion to making every issue the best issue ever has served as an inspiration for all of us here. To my uncle, Sydney Prevor, who has stood by us since the beginning, lending both financial support and valued advice, a special thanks is due. And finally, to my parents, Michael and Roslyn Prevor, who have never wavered in their dedication to this cause, goes my heartfelt appreciation.
This issue is but a portent of progress yet to come. But whatever glory the future may bring, I rededicate myself to fulfilling the faith these individuals and this industry have vested in PRODUCE BUSINESS.