Vegetable company leftovers up for auction
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Jan 23, 2013 | 3400 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
01-24-2013--Rob Johnson of Los Angeles (L) and Rob Moen of Porland, Ore., both wholesalers for machine bearings look through the former Patterson Vegetable Company's assortment of bearings Monday, Jan. 21 during a public viewing of the plant's assets for auction. An auction took place Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday Jan. 23 at the former frozen vegetable processing plant at 100 E. Las Palmas Ave.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
01-24-2013--Rob Johnson of Los Angeles (L) and Rob Moen of Porland, Ore., both wholesalers for machine bearings look through the former Patterson Vegetable Company's assortment of bearings Monday, Jan. 21 during a public viewing of the plant's assets for auction. An auction took place Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday Jan. 23 at the former frozen vegetable processing plant at 100 E. Las Palmas Ave.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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01-24-2013--Equpment like this and more to test vegetables was on the auction block Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday Jan. 23, at the former Patterson Vegetable Company plant at 100 E. Las Palmas Ave.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
01-24-2013--Equpment like this and more to test vegetables was on the auction block Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday Jan. 23, at the former Patterson Vegetable Company plant at 100 E. Las Palmas Ave.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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01-24-2013--Doug Johnson, a wholesale parts dealer from Los Angeles sorts pallets of machine bearings at the auction of the former Patterson Vegetable Company.  The auction is set to take place Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday, Jan. 23.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
01-24-2013--Doug Johnson, a wholesale parts dealer from Los Angeles sorts pallets of machine bearings at the auction of the former Patterson Vegetable Company. The auction is set to take place Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday, Jan. 23.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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01-24-2013--A bulk frozen vegetable processor awaits a new home during the Patterson Vegetable Auction a Monday, Jan. 21 viewing.  An auction took place on most of the industrial machinery at the former frozen vegetable processing plant Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday, Jan. 23.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
01-24-2013--A bulk frozen vegetable processor awaits a new home during the Patterson Vegetable Auction a Monday, Jan. 21 viewing. An auction took place on most of the industrial machinery at the former frozen vegetable processing plant Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday, Jan. 23.--By Nick Rappley/Patterson Irrigator
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Patterson City Councilman Larry Buehner and three unnamed partners bought Patterson Vegetable Co.’s factory and office building, with plans to revitalize them and house new businesses there.

“Well, we’ll have to talk to the city first,” Buehner said Tuesday, Jan. 22. “We’d like to fix it up and make it a nice gateway to town.”

The shuttered vegetable processing company sold its assets during a two-day auction that started Tuesday. The company ceased operations in June.

Bids flew at a dizzying pace at Patterson Vegetable Co.’s former headquarters as nearly 75 people from across North America snapped up processing equipment, freezers, packaging equipment and office supplies.

Everything was on the block — all of the former vegetable processing company’s processing and freezing equipment, as well as the main plant building at 100 E. Las Palmas Ave. and the office building across the street.

Giant screens displayed the equipment up for auction, and auctioneers filled the air with prices as the bidders made their best offers for each lot of equipment.

One bidder, Marion Swink, who said he runs a similar frozen vegetable processing plant in Effingham, S.C., was eyeing the bigger machinery.

“They’ve got some good equipment here,” he said. “We package string beans, spinach, greens and squash. I’d like to pack up some of this equipment and head back east.”

Ron McNiel, of Stockton, was not finding many bargains for his used industrial equipment company, Food Machinery International. He said he had sold some of the same pieces to Patterson Vegetable Co. when it was in business.

“The equipment is going for a lot of money,” he said. “This is definitely top of the market right now. Some of it is going for more.”

McNiel said the bidding was high because many processors were bidding directly, rather than wholesalers who try to buy at a discount.

Randy Sihota of Canadian Farms, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, bought a hydro-cooler to keep vegetables chilled after harvest at what he thought was a reasonable price.

“The prices are market value,” he said.

Julio Holguin of Los Angeles-based Food Processors said buying at auction is better than going through dealers, for either used or new items.

“These prices are great; this is where you find the deals,” he said.

As for the purchase of the building itself, Buehner refused to disclose his partners’ names without their permission. But he said his brother Ken Buehner, his partner in Westside Property Management, was not involved in the purchase.

Meanwhile, Traina Pacific is busy working on buildings purchased in November from Patterson Vegetable Co. on the east side of the 300 block of First Street, south of East Las Palmas Avenue.

Patterson-based Traina Dried Fruits and Modesto-based Sierra Pacific Refrigerated Services formed the company in November. Sierra Pacific already had adjoining facilities further down the block.

Patterson Vegetable Co. ceased operations June 24 after managers and Teamsters Local 948 members could not come to terms regarding cuts to employee pay and benefits totaling nearly $10 million over a three-year span.

The frozen vegetable processing company’s facility, which was run by Patterson Frozen Foods until 2007, had run continuously for 66 years.

Citing unsustainable health and retirement costs, the company repeatedly pleaded with employees to vote for concession packages that amounted to millions in wage and benefit cuts. Union employees repeatedly voted against the cuts, protesting their severity.

Contact the Irrigator at 892-6187 or news@pattersonirrigator.com.

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lilshortcake
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January 27, 2013
Having grown in Patterson for most of my life it is very sad to see this place gone. Hopefully those who bought the building will do a good deed and maybe employee those who were previously employed there


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