Ford's Produce Company is a family owned and operated business whose history spans almost 70 years and four generations.
Ford’s Produce was founded in 1946 by Connie Mac, A.J., and Carl Ford. They started the company with a pickup truck, delivering fruits and vegetables to grocery stores in the area. Soon they were able to lease a spot on Blake Street, at the old City Market in Raleigh. Through their hard work and dedication, Ford’s Produce grew.
In 1956, Ford’s Produce moved, along with the rest of the Market, to Hodges Street. While at the Hodges Street location, A.J. retired and Carl was bought out by Connie Mac and Lynn Ford. Connie Mac and his wife Virginia retired in 1985 and sold their interest in the company to Lynn and his wife Sandi, maintaining Ford’s Produce as a family run business.
October 1986 saw the birth of the first division to grow out of Ford’s Produce, Ford’s Fancy Fruits. Sandi Ford started making her delicious fruit baskets in the back of the produce warehouse and they were soon so popular that a business was on its feet in no time. Basketville at BJ’s Candy Garden, a retail shop which sold baskets, candy, and fudge, was formed in 1990. The North Carolina Store, a gift shop at the RDU Airport, opened in 1993. At the beginning of 1994, Basketville merged with Ford’s Fancy Fruits later evolving into Ford’s Gourmet Foods. Ford’s Gourmet Foods promotes its own product lines and is also the master distributor of Bone Suckin’ Sauce products. This division is now involved in sales (both domestic and international), marketing, distributing, and consulting.
In 1991, in order to meet the demand for more space, and to accommodate the subsidiary divisions, Ford’s Produce relocated to its present location on Lake Wheeler Road.
Mr. Fresh!, Ford’s fourth division, began in 1992 in an effort to supply our customers with the freshest and most convenient precut produce available. Mr. Fresh! makes a wide variety of products, including salads, carrot sticks, and cole slaw, which save our customers time and money.
In December of 1993 and January of 1997, Lynn and Sandi’s sons, Vaughn and Patrick Ford, respectively, joined them to become the fourth generation to enter Ford’s Produce.
Ford’s Produce has always been a well known and respected name in the produce industry. Our reputation for service and quality are unparalleled. While our customer base has evolved from only grocery stores to include restaurants, schools, and other food service clients, our commitment to high standards of service and quality has not changed. Our customers demand the best and know that they will get it from Ford’s Produce.
Ford’s Produce continues to be the most innovative produce wholesaler in North Carolina. As stated above, our standards for service and quality are second to none.
This commitment to quality, service, and innovations has been the cornerstone of our success and will continue to be the strategy for future operations.
Ford’s Produce carries the widest selection of fresh fruits and vegetables of any company in the Carolinas. We’ve always been proud to serve the finest establishments in our delivery area. From the beginning, we’ve stayed committed to bringing the freshest, highest quality produce from around the country and world to you, our best customer.