SEPTEMBER 26, 2017
For four decades, the vertically integrated onion operation north of Salt Lake City has been known primarily by its location -- Utah. But Utah Onions is making a big change to reinforce the fact it is far more expansive than its home state.
According to Chief Executive Officer Bob Meek, Onions 52 is not only the new name but also a much more accurate description.
“Many people think we’re just Utah,” Meek said in mid-September. “That name is misleading and underplays our ability to service our customers. Onions 52 is who we are and what we do. We cover you 52 weeks of the year from our onion-production areas around the country.”Onion 52 corporate officers are Shawn Hartley, owner and vice president/sales; Trevor Flint, chief financial officer; Trent B. Hartley, owner and president; Brad Dahl, owner and vice president/sales; and Bob Meek, chief executive officer. Photo courtesy of Onions 52.
The new name, Meek continued, is the result of the longtime onion house’s commitment to its customers.
“We have actually been working on this change for some time,” he said. “We knew we would have one chance to make a statement with the change, and so we brought in a company that specializes in corporate names. They provided us with 180 suggestions, none of which was Onions 52. But the names they gave us led us to this new name.”
He continued, “As we like to tell people who’ve asked us about the name Onions 52, ‘This is who we are. We have onions all year.’”
In a prepared statement, Meek said, “We’ve been in business since 1977, and we have simply outgrown our old name. Being Utah Onions was fine while we were just that, Utah onions. Now that we have farmers and partners in six states as well as Mexico, we needed a new name to fit with the growth of the company. The new name says exactly what we want people to know -- quality onions, 52 weeks a year, Onions 52.”
Corporate officers in addition to Meek are Trent B. Hartley, president; Shawn Hartley vice president/sales; Brad Dahl vice president/sales; and Trevor Flint, chief financial officer.
Meek said the operation’s multiple production areas extend far beyond the borders of Utah. “We have onions from Hartley Produce in Prosser, Washington,” he said. “It is owned by Shawn’s family. We also have onions from Oregon Trail Produce in Nyssa, Oregon, which is owned by Sam and Mark Hartley. And we have onions from the Johnson family and Carzalia Valley Produce in Columbus, New Mexico. That’s a new alliance formed this year, and it fills an important window from May to August.”
Onions 52 also partners with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, with operations in Mexico, Texas and Colorado. The company has a Dallas facility built in 2016 where onions are packed for in-market distribution.
In addition to the new name, Onions 52 also brought on new personnel within the last year. Meek said Flint came on as CFO in 2016, and joining the sales team are Devin Taylor and Travis Hess. Thomas Pickett works in traffic and production, Meek added.
To complete the big news from Onions 52, Meek said, “We’re in the process now of building a new packing plant to expand our production in Utah, along with a new corporate office. We hope to have the plant operating within the next four weeks. Fortunately, we are still operating in the old plant.”
Meek continued in the statement, “We get onions delivered with never a thought of saying no to our customers. Instead we find and offer solutions, and we do that 52 weeks a year. That’s what set us apart. There’s never a week without onions for us. With a full line of onion products from 2,000 pound totes to two-pound bags, you can count on quality, year-round supply, reliability and ease.”
More information is available at www.onions52.com.
The Produce News