Ben Litowich & Son and Ben Bud Growers are family held companies with roots that date back to 1910, when our Great Grandfather, Ben Litowich began shipping produce from Benton Harbor, Michigan. At the very beginning Ben shipped produce by boat on Lake Michigan to the Chicago Market where he eventually opened his own wholesale house on the South Water Market.
Ben’s produce business continued to expand over the next several decades successfully and in 1945 his son Bud joined the firm and company name became Ben Litowich & Son. Bud had just gotten out of the Military and was excited to be able to work with his father.
In 1946, Ben Litowich & Son was the first company to ship produce by airplane from Michigan to Boston, which is one example of the company’s aggressive innovation. With the onset of better transportation and the purchase of several trucks, the firm expanded to work strawberry deals in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Additionally, Bud opened up a package business selling produce crates and baskets to the local Michigan growers. The produce package company continued for many years while the Benton Harbor Fruit Market was most active.
In 1951 unfortunately Ben passed away, leaving Bud in charge of all operations.
In 1962 Bud continued to expand the company’s seasonal shipping locations and opened up an office in Pompano Beach, Florida. The Florida winter vegetable deal expanded dramatically and within a few years Florida became the main office.
In 1975, the third generation of the Litowich family, 21 year old Ben, joined the firm. Thus began a series of major expansions. In order to provide year round service to their many customers Ben Litowich & son began seasonal shipments out of Georgia, North Carolina, and Nogales Arizona.
In 1988 Ben started Ben Bud Growers, Inc. which specifically focused on the importing of fresh fruits and vegetables from mainly Central and South America. Within a couple of years, Bud decided to retire, leaving the family business to Ben.
Ben Bud Growers continued to expand their grower representation and in 1991 they formed a New York Division representing local NY growers. The NY division is still going strong and we are working with many of the same growers for close to three decades.
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 and has warehouse capacity in multiple locations throughout the country with a customer distribution network that spans the United States and Canada.