Today, Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. is a 4th generation family owned and operated business that focuses on providing excellent service, building personal customer relationships and delivering the finest wholesale produce available.
In the capable hands of the Pappas family, lead by Pete, Gus, Aris and Paul, Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. services grocery stores and the food service industry throughout the Mid Atlantic Region. With newly added farming operations and expanding delivery areas, the company will only continue to grow!
Our company has a long history in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore metropolitan area produce industry. Our beautiful company mural (shown above) highlights our roots in Washington and how the family and business have grown since 1942. Read below for an overview of how our company came to be, and how it's grown over the past 75 years.
Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. dates back to 1901, when Pete K. Pappas immigrated to America from Sparta, Greece. He started selling produce from a push cart in the early 1900’s. By 1917 he had a retail stand in the Center Market, and in 1932 moved business to the Union Market (now known as the Florida Avenue Market).
In 1940, the company was known as Pete Pappas & Son, as Pete K. Pappas’ eldest son Gus started working full time to help at the market and job produce to other vendors.
In 1942, Pete Pappas & Son was asked to handle a load of tomatoes that had been damaged in transit. Gus had the foresight to repack the tomatoes and sell them, thus began the Pete Pappas & Sons tomato repacking operation.
This exact moment was the birth of the wholesale produce distribution company as we know it today. We have specialized in repacking tomatoes under the Patricia Brand label (pictured in the 1940s) for chain stores and the food service industry since then.
The company has grown and expanded, but Gus’ son Pete never forgets how the company began and his family’s roots in the industry.
In 1946 the company became Pete Pappas & Sons, as we know it today. World War II had ended and George Pappas, Gus’ younger brother, returned from the Air Force to join the family business. That year, Pete Pappas & Sons bought a stable at 12 ½ Street, SE, and converted it into a re-packing plant.
In 1972 Gus’ son Pete joined the business and was followed by George’s son Phillip shortly thereafter. The company grew and expanded its operation into several different locations. In 1979 the Pappas family purchased a multi level 90,000 square ft. facility that was initially used by the Safeway pre-pack operation.
The company has expanded since the 1980s by adding potatoes, onions, and all types of berries to complement their tomato repacking operations.
Pete, the current CEO and a 3rd generation family businessman, was joined by his sons Gus in 1999 and Aris in 2004. Gus is now the President of the company, while Aris is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Gus and Aris make the 4th generation leaders of this family owned and operated company.
Pete’s second cousin Paul, who worked from 1987-1994, re-joined the company after selling his own produce company in 2013 becoming our Vice President of Operations. Together Pete, Gus, Aris and Paul make a dynamic team that has truly taken the business to new heights.
In August of 2014 the company expanded operations and relocated to Jessup, Maryland. Our brand-new, completely refrigerated and “State of The Art” facility spans a whopping a 120,000 sq ft warehouse.
With the continued growth of business, we have added organics, more year around premium items, seasonal fruit and vegetables as well as all types of tomatoes, berries and onions.
Visit the Premium Produce page for more information on what premium items we carry.
Our family has been in produce for over 75 years, and it shows! The patriarch of the Pappas family, Pete, is in business with his sons Gus and Aris and their cousin Paul. His daughter Helen joined the company in 2015.
The rest of the Pappas family, as you'll see, come to visit the warehouse and enjoy eating our fresh produce often. You'll see Pete's grandchildren Peter, Diana and Evie (Gus' son and Aris' daughters). You'll also see the two Helens, Pete's mother and daughter. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into our family and our family business.
Learn more about Pete, Gus, Aris and Paul on the Executive Team page.