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.
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.