Dave's Specialty Imports

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Employer Summary

The story of Dave's begins almost seventy years ago with a young boy raising fruits and vegetables in the garden of the St. Aloysius Orphanage in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tending the orphanage garden, young Dave Bowe learned firsthand about growing food and being a good steward of the land and environment. He learned to appreciate freshness, the seasons, the right moment to harvest, and the heavenly taste of fresh-picked, perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables.

Dave was a hard-working, self-reliant and ambitious boy. At the age of sixteen he took some job bagging groceries for the local A&P. There, using his knowledge of garden-ripe produce, he quickly worked his way up to the produce-buying office. Soon he was buying produce for S.S. Kresge, one of the 20th century's largest and most famous retail organizations, which later became Kmart.

Young Dave was moving up and learning fast, and soon he was buying produce for IGA, the Independent Grocers Alliance, now the world's largest chain of independent supermarkets. Handling various perishable programs for individual IGA retail stores, Dave eventually became an independent grocer with IGA for many years.

But Dave was still looking to the future. He wanted to grow and for that he had to learn the import side of the business, so he moved to Florida where he began working with companies such as Xtra Markets (Pueblo International), Central American Produce, and Couture Farms.

When he had thoroughly learned the fresh produce business from every angle – retail, wholesale, growing, importing, and shipping – Dave founded Dave's Specialty Imports in 1992. The company initially imported berries, melons, and asparagus.

In 1996 Dave's eldest son Mike Bowe joined the business. In 2011 granddaughters Leslie (Bowe) Simmons and Jennifer Bowe joined the business started by their grandfather – Leslie in marketing and Jennifer in administration. In the same year the company also created a new look for its brand and packaging. Dave's continues to grow with the times but still focuses on the same core values and goals. "We are committed to our tradition of honesty, integrity, and quality service," says Mike Bowe. "We personally stand by our word."