Our forward-thinking executive team have taken Pete Pappas & Sons Inc to new heights! They have all worked diligently to grow the business in a number of ways in recent years. This includes becoming vertically integrated with Smoky Mountain Family Farms to become the premium quality supplier, grower, packer, shipper, distributor and green business we are today.
Co-CEO + 4th generation Pappas family businessman
Gus is our resident berry professional. Since joining the company in 1999,
Gus has skyrocketed the growth of the berry department.
He has taken our berry business from just strawberries to now blueberries, blackberries and raspberries too. He also began our organic berry program.
Take one look at our berries and you’ll believe that Gus hand picks the best!
Co-CEO + 4th generation family member
Aris is our resident tomato expert who joined his father’s and brothers’ sides in 2004, and over the past 14 years has helped expand not only the tomato selection and packaging, but also the variety of fruits and vegetables that we carry.
Aris has a hand in picking the bulk of our produce, which is reflected by the premium quality we offer.
He rejoined the company in 2013, and first worked with us as a Production Manager from 1987-1994. He has owned his own food distribution company, was the COO of a food service distributor and has worked for a produce grower/shipper and for a wholesale distributor.
With over 30 years of experience in the industry, he has helped us to take advantage of every opportunity to grow, improve and even start new businesses.
Chief Financial Officer
She brings a passion for Finance, numbers and strategy to our company and deftly leads our Accounting team.
With a focus on strategic growth she creates value through capital management and risk analysis.
She brings a breadth of knowledge, organization and success oriented thinking to Pete Pappas & Sons.
Director of Marketing and Sustainability + 4th Generation family member
With a Marketing degree from Georgetown University, Helen has a flair for aesthetics including branding, social media, content creation and packaging design.
She is passionate about green business and sustainability, and is a leader of our Green Team. Helen reports on our many sustainability successes and initiatives enacted by the company.
Vice President of Sales
He brings an impressive 30 years experience in the produce industry, and has worked for growers, shippers and repackers. His experience with organic produce has also brought new insights to our organic programs.
Don ensures our departments are connecting and that everything is running smoothly. He also helps us find, assess and take advantage of growth opportunities.
Director of Operations
Mike is passionate about teamwork, efficiency, food safety and quality.
His extensive experience includes 28 years in production, and 13 years in the fresh produce processing, packaging and repacking arenas.
With these specialties, he brings a comprehensive knowledge of fresh produce, people and machinery to PP&S.
Chairman of the Board + 3rd generation Pappas
Pete joined his father and uncle at Pete Pappas & Sons in 1972. Over the past 50 years, he has overseen the expansion of our original tomato business to become the supplier, grower, packers, shipper and distributor we are currently.
Pete and his sons Gus and Aris have truly fulfilled the company name, from the original Pete K. Pappas, of Pete Pappas & Sons.
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 hands of the Pappas family, led by Pete, Gus, Aris, Paul and Helen, Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. services grocery stores and the food service industry throughout the Eastern Seaboard. With added farming operations and expanding delivery areas and grower partnerships, the company continues to grow every year.
Our company has a long history in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore metropolitan area produce industry. Our beautiful company mural in our offices (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 80 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 Chairman of the Board and a 3rd generation family businessman, was joined by his sons Gus in 1999 and Aris in 2004. His sons now share the title of co-CEO. 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.
Our family has been in produce for over 80 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 Pappases, including grandkids, come to visit the warehouse and enjoy eating our fresh produce 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.