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Our Roots

Ben-Bud Growers

Ben-Bud Growers, Inc. specializes in the importing and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables from Asia and the Americas.

With company roots dating back to 1910, we have the knowledge and skill to procure the highest quality produce and, through our extensive distribution network, we have the experience to generate consistently above-average returns for our growers.

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Ben Litowich
Back in 1910, a 16-year-old entrepreneur by the name of Ben Litowich borrowed $200 to start a produce company in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He began by shipping fruit to the South Water Market in Chicago. Within months, Ben had earned enough money to pay off his bank loan. Unfortunately, through a combination of inexperience and bad luck, he lost the final shipment of product for the season, along with all his earnings.
Despite the financial setback, Ben gained valuable experience and in the following spring, he purchased several Model T trucks to transport his produce. At the same time, he opened his own wholesale house at 71st and State Street in Chicago. He was now able to move product successfully from the Benton Harbor market to Chicago.
Over the next three decades, Ben continued to build his business successfully. In 1945, the firm became Ben Litowich & Son, when his 24-year-old son, Bud, became his business partner. Bud started out as a berry buyer for processors in Benton Harbor. In 1946, Ben Litowich & Son was the first company to ship produce by airplane from Benton Harbor to Boston. With the onset of better transportation, the firm expanded to work berry deals in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
In 1947, Ben Litowich & Son received its first of many Red Book Business Character Awards and earned a four-star rating (the highest), which has been maintained continuously to the present day.

In 1951, Ben Litowich passed away, leaving Bud in charge of all operations.

In 1962, Bud began coming to Florida seasonally to operate in Pompano Beach. Gradually, as the firm concentrated their efforts into expanding further in the Florida market, they discontinued the operations in Michigan.

In 1975, the third generation of the Litowich family, 20-year-old Ben, joined the firm. Thus began a series of major expansions. In order to provide year-round service to its many customers, Ben Litowich & Son began seasonal shipments out of Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona.

In 1988, Ben Litowich & Son acquired an office building in Margate, Florida, just five miles from the Pompano State Farmers Market. In the same year, they started Ben-Bud Growers, Inc., which specifically focused on the importing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Shortly afterwards, Bud retired, leaving the family business to Ben.

In 1991, Ben-Bud Growers formed a New York division to specialize in the New York growing season, and a Corporate division to specialize in supplying the large chain-store market.

Since that time, Ben-Bud Growers, with its three divisions, has grown to become one of the premier fruit and vegetable importers and distributors in the nation. Handling millions of boxes of fresh produce annually, Ben-Bud Growers imports from nearly a dozen nations, has warehouse capacity in Florida, New Jersey, Texas, and California, and has a customer distribution network that spans the United States and Canada.
2005 a landmark year
2005 was a landmark year for Ben Litowich & Son. Approaching their 100th year in business, Ben's children, Ashley and Bryan, join the company. Ashley and Bryan are the fourth generation of Litowich. Like his father, Bryan started his produce career in quality control. He continues to inspect and approve shipments before they leave, assuring the excellent quality on which the company has built its reputation.

 

Bryan's father and grandfather are very proud of this accomplishment and are thrilled that Bryan will carry the family torch to the next generation.

tn-sixNow, in 2009, the company has expanded once again to reach a new clientele with "4th Generation Organic Market". Along with his son Bryan, Ben's daughter, Ashley, head the newly formed retail division in their Boca Raton location. With this venture, Ben Litowich and Son promise to offer the best organic groceries, prepared food, and of course, produce, to the public for the first time. Caring for the Earth and its citizens has always been a priority for this family, so this market is the perfect way to carry that message forward.