Our Company

Pacific Coast Fruit Company was founded in 1977 by Emil Nemarnik in the historic Produce Row of Portland, Oregon. The company consisted of one 2,000 square foot warehouse and eight employees, four of whom were unpaid family members. Since then, we’ve expanded to become one of the largest, independent produce distributors in the Northwest. We’ve built a strong team over the years and, as Emil often said,

Four walls and a roof make a building, but people make a business.

We have two facilities – a 90,000 square foot warehouse and Fresh Cut center in Portland, Oregon, and a 83,000 square foot warehouse in Seattle, Washington, both conveniently located along the I-5 corridor to serve the entire Northwest region. We service a wide variety of customers including retailers, wholesalers, processors, restaurants, and more. Our produce programs include robust USDA Organic, local Oregon and Washington, and Fresh Cut options and we are proud to provide our customers with the freshest and healthiest produce available.

Our employees are expert food industry insiders and know how to tailor our services to meet your needs. We offer training on product handling as well as assistance in planning your specialty and seasonal programs. We believe we have the best customer service staff and they are available to help you seven days a week. Our goal is to not simply sell to our customers but offer them support every step of the way.

Our History

At the age of 10, Emil Nemarnik was the only child in his family of 12 to immigrate to the United States from Croatia. Emil began his produce career working in a grocery store to pay his way through college, and while there met his future bride Kathleen Spada. He continued to work in the produce industry after graduation and bought, sold and brokered produce until 1976 when the company he worked for was sold. At 50 he was out of work with five children to support. Undaunted, Emil mortgaged his house, sold his car and found a bank that would lend him money, and in 1977 Pacific Coast Fruit Company opened its doors as the smallest produce distributor in Portland with eight employees, four of which were family members. Since then, Pacific Coast Fruit Company has grown into one of the largest independently owned produce distributors servicing the Pacific Northwest and still employs many of its original employees. However, Emil’s philosophy is as true today as it was in 1977:

Take good care of your employees, customers, shippers and farmers and they will make you successful.

Our Family

The culture of Pacific Coast Fruit Company is one that values the hardworking dedicated people who have put countless hours, effort, and enthusiasm into making our company feel more like a family. We are fortunate that our employees stay with us a long time because it is our collective experience and expertise that provides the greatest value to our customers.

Management & Operations

Emil Nemarnik, Co-Founder, 1928-2015
Kathleen Nemarnik, Co-Founder
David Nemarnik, Chief Executive Officer
Tom Brugato, President
Nancy Brugato, Vice President of Development
Ted Hendryx, Chief Operating Officer
Joe Hanson, Division President, Washington
Steve Hays, Vice President of Finance
Al Tong, Vice President of Operations
Dave Rothwell, Vice President of Prepared Foods
Kathleen Quandee, Vice President of Human Resources
Sara Thompson, Director of Procurement Programs
Bill LaMora, Director of Purchasing
Tim Simnitt, Director of Transportation
Liz Simich, Office Manager
Tam Vu, Director of Food Safety
Mike Trageser, Director of Quality
Brian Dood, Director of Information Services

Sales & Customer Service

Bob Meikle, Vice President of Retail Sales
Chris Farley, Director of Brokerage Sales
Paul Ornstein, Director of Foodservice
Jaynelle Nash, Director of Prepared Food Sales & Marketing
Diane Singer, Director of Wholesale & Organic Sales
Maggi Brooks, Director of Retail Sales
Mark Brooks, Foodservice Sales & Business Development Manager
Scott Schultz, Director of Organic Sales – Pacific Coast Trading Co
Jed Iverson, Customer Service Manager

Food Safety

We’re a family at Pacific Coast Fruit Company and, as such, the health and safety of our customers is our main priority. Our facilities are regularly inspected by third-party auditors, are both SQF Level 2 certified, and operate with a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan. We regularly test our recall management protocol and choose to work with GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified farms. Regular training and practice of the recall process keeps this vital link to food safety in top working order so you can be assured you are receiving the most wholesome product available in today’s market.

Click here to find our more information on the most current recalls in the produce industry.

Safety Audits

thumbnail of SQF FS Certificate Pacific Coast Fruit Due Apr 2019[2]
SQF Level 2 Certificate Portland
thumbnail of SQF L2 Certificate Pacific Coast Fruit Due Jul 2018
SQF L2 Certificate Kent
thumbnail of OTCO Certificate 2018
Oregon Tilth USDA Organic Certificate


Pacific Coast Fruit Company scores our sustainability efforts on eight distinct areas: Waste, Water, Packaging, Climate and Energy, Soil Treatments, Community, Employee Practices, and Innovation.


We recycle office paper, waxed and corrugated cardboard, plastic wrap, pallet wood, hard plastic, metal, and more. In addition, electronic devices removed from service are donated for reuse or recycling.

Our Cattle Farmer Program collects organic waste from our Fresh Cut and Repack facilities for use as a high-quality animal feed.

We use paperless systems for our payroll, invoicing, picking, and ordering systems.


Our Seattle warehouse has a 360 cubic foot Bioswale to help protect the natural wetlands and trail systems surrounding the facility from possible run-off impurities and contaminants.

We regularly test our processing wastewater to ensure it has a neutral pH level and is free of contaminants before it ever reaches municipal water treatment plants.


Our Repack and Broken Bench facilities reuse empty boxes.

Climate & Energy

Our facilities use a combination of Fluorescent and LED lighting. All fluorescents are T8’s or better and use less than half the wattage of an equivalent incandescent bulb. All our lighting systems are also motion triggered to reduce power consumption.

Our Portland warehouse has a 9.6 KW Solar array that could power nine average US homes year round.

Our computers and break-room appliances are all ENERGYSTAR certified.

Soil Treatments

We work with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certified farms to ensure produce is free of bacterial contaminants and the soil is properly nourished for the long-term viability of the farmland.

We source USDA Certified Organic whenever possible. The organic growing process eliminates harsh chemical fertilizers or pesticides, avoiding the build up of these elements in our soil and water systems.


We work with and donate to multiple food banks and other charitable, non-profit, and volunteer run organizations throughout Oregon and Washington including the Oregon Food Bank, Salvation Army, Church Without Walls, Portland Fruit Tree Project, Blanchet House, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Golden Harvesters, Project Community Care, Gleaners of Clackamas County, Generous Venture Gleaners, Clackamas Service Center, and Farestart.

We partner with Greener Fields Together to help promote and improve sustainability practices throughout the produce supply chain. This includes making funding and resources available for family owned farms throughout the region as well as encouraging the industry as a whole to adapt policies and practices that lead to a more sustainable future.

Good Employee Practices

Sustainability_at_Work_Gold_iconWe have a Green Team supported by management and staff in implementing and improving
sustainability efforts.

We are a City of Portland GOLD Level Sustainability At Work Certified company.

We support alternative transportation systems for our employees by offering bicycle parking and a bicycle repair kit as well as public transit passes. We also participate in an annual bike commute challenge, encouraging employees to try alternative means of getting to and from work.


Our transportation fleet runs off 95-5 bio-diesel and is fueled on-site. Our trucks are also GPS routed for maximum efficiency, reducing the total number of miles on the road and maximizing MPG for reduced emissions.

Our warehouses and processing facilities are Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level 2.0 Certified and operate with a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan. Our Organic items including our processed products are USDA Certified Organic by the Oregon Tilth.

Our electric pallet-jacks and forklifts use high-efficiency rechargeable batteries that have a longer service life than traditional battery packs, meaning fewer batteries are consumed. Rather than going through full discharge cycles, they are also spot-charged, reducing wear and tear on the batteries and increasing charging efficiency.