In 1920, Valley Fruit & Produce Co., Inc. started a wholesale fresh fruit and vegetable business and has now become a family owned business in its second and third generation.
Here is a look at our founders:
Frank Flickinger 1883-1962 Frank Flickinger was born in Los Angeles and started working when he was eleven years old; he had no chance for further schooling. However, despite his lack of formal education, he was a very good businessman.
Arthur La Londe, Sr. 1900-1971 Arthur La Londe, Sr. was born in Silver City Nevada. His family moved to Santa Ana, California where he worked for the Utt Juice Company while attending Santa Ana High School. After graduation, he got a job with a melon grower and shipper in Imperial Valley. They would ship the melons east by rail, and sell them as the railway cars rolled eastward. If they could not find a buyer along the way, the melons would be sold at auction upon reaching New York.
After a few years in Imperial Valley, he and his family moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a produce broker on Spring Street. Later he applied for the job as office manager for Valley Fruit where he later purchased stock in the Company. He eventually became President and was very instrumental in the development of the Company
into a leadership position in the produce industry in Los Angeles. His two sons Arthur Jr. and Donald and grandson Douglas later joined the business and are active in the Company to the present day.
Peter G. Nicklin 1908-1993 Peter Nicklin was born in Los Angeles and attended Manual Arts High School. Upon graduation, he got a job with the Southern Pacific Railway Company working in their Los Angeles office. He met the daughter of Frank Flickinger and they later married. In 1932, he was hired by Arthur La Londe, Sr. as office manager for Valley and later became a shareholder in the Company. His son, Darrell Nicklin joined Valley later and was involved in the sales and management of the Company until 1982.