hy-land kids labels

Our History

Early in the winter of 1922, a small group of local fruit growers got together and decided to form a cooperative organization to pack and sell their fruit. These sixteen charter members agreed to sign a note for $100 per acre of bearing fruit and sign contracts guaranteeing delivery of their produce to this new warehouse.

loading dockConstruction on the warehouse began in April of 1923. Belt elevators were installed for receiving fruit and a gas engine and generator were purchased to supply lights for the packing room and to power the 'Ideal' sizer. That first year of business, 58,000 boxes of fruit were delivered and packed. It only took one year before Cowiche Growers needed to expand its facility to accommodate increasing growth.

A committee of growers was appointed to come up with a box label design in which to market their fruit under. The Hy-land Kids design concept was chosen and was patterned after the popular comic strip characters of the time, the "Kelly Kids."

storage warehouseSome years later, because of a substantial loss of Jonathan apples due to over ripeness caused by lack of storage capacity, it was decided to convert to the relatively new concept of cold storage. These new cold storage rooms were built and were then quickly "modernized" with the use of electric power to run the cold storage compressors.

In September of 1932, Reuben G. Benz was chosen as sales manager for Cowiche Growers. Benz and Cowiche Growers were instrumental in pioneering the bagging of small apples. In 1941, Benz was chosen by the fruit industry to lead the fight with the railroads for lower freight rates. His efforts were successful, and he received the appreciation of all Washington fruit growers.

growers and staffCowiche Growers' growth continued over the years with the addition of controlled atmosphere (CA) storage rooms and continuous upgrades to packing equipment and facilities. Today, Cowiche Growers is still a leading producer of quality Yakima Valley apples and is poised to meet the global marketing demands of the 21st century.