In 1905, James Leonard, Walter Crosset, and George Riley founded Leonard, Crosset & Riley (LCR), a wholesale produce business in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the beginning, the company handled only a few commodities: primarily potatoes, onions, cabbage, rutabagas, and watermelons. In 1907, Walter established a buying office in Michigan to procure potatoes directly from Michigan and Northern Ohio growers. This model proved successful, and buying offices were opened in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho, and Maine, where over 75% of potatoes are grown. As the volume grew, LCR expanded its sales and service area, first to Dayton, then Columbus, and Indianapolis. At the peak of its operation, LCR shipped over 25,000 railcars of potatoes annually to nearly every state.
In 1934, Walter’s sons, Richard (Dick) and Robert Crosset, bought out Leonard and Riley, and LCR became Crosset Company, Inc. In 1945, Dick’s son, Richard, Jr. joined the company, and he later served as President and CEO until the sale of the company. The Crosset Company continued to increase the number of produce items available to their customers, and by 1957 was a full line produce wholesaler. In 1964, Crosset Company expanded its service offering to include direct delivery to retail stores, along with merchandising advice and assistance. Soon, the company was servicing more than 550 retailers across six states.
Crosset Company remained family-owned until a group of private investors purchased it in 1989. Crosset Company became part of the Castellini Group of Companies in June 1993, allowing it to increase the reach of its retail coverage, enhance its repack and value-added operations, and strengthen its grower relationships. With the acquisition of Atlanta-based General Produce in 2014, the Castellini Group of Companies further expanded the geographic reach, logistics services, and product offerings of the Crosset Company, making it a leading full-service distributor of organic and conventional fresh produce and floral products to customers located east of the Mississippi River.
Across four generations of growth and into the future, the Crosset Company remains steadfast in its passion for the produce industry, customer-first focus, service excellence, and culture of family, community, and opportunity.