Dave started his produce career by selling a couple of friend’s organic apples in 1975. He was one of the first to wholesale apples from Eastern Washington to Seattle and the west coast. At that time growers had few markets and were unable to store or pack their apples in the commercial sheds. At the time only a few small neighborhood Co-Ops were the only market. After a couple of years, several larger stores and markets in California started buying the fruit. It was a struggle for small growers pioneering producing commercial quantities of organic apples to survive. Dave was living in Alaska after all the apples were sold in the spring until the fall harvest.
One fateful day in November 1978 he brought a truck load of apples to a wholesaler in Seattle; they did not like the fruit since it was not waxed! He looked across the street to where the Alaska State Ferry was docked and decided that the good folks of Juneau would love this fruit. He hopped on the ferry and thus began Chelan Produce Co. Many ask, how did you get that name? You have to have a business license in Alaska, and the helpful state employee suggested the name as that was where the apples were from.