Our History and Values

Our History and Values

Our History & Values

“We’re a small 4th generation family business that happens to be doing great things.”

Originally established in 1938 in Vancouver by Tom Chong Ho as the Tom Yee Company, North American Produce Sales has a rich history of over 75 years providing customers with quality produce, specialized sourcing capabilities, and valued relationships alongside a strong commitment to community involvement.

As a Canadian immigrant, “Mr. Tom” (as he became known) established himself as a friendly, dependable supplier of fresh local produce and respected businessman. Mr. Tom regularly contributed towards causes and integrated his business into the growing Vancouver’s Chinatown community.

North American Produce Sales Tom Yee company Vancouver truck historyThe Tom Yee Company was able to establish reliable and diverse produce supplier networks across local distributors, the Americas, and the world, allowing exciting new foods to be enjoyed by customers and meeting the needs of Vancouver’s diverse cultures and population. Mr. Tom’s reputation as an honest, friendly and hardworking member of the emerging Vancouver economy quickly earned him many customers, as well as respect from across the province and the local community.

In the late 1950’s, Mr. Tom celebrated an agreement with the Great Northern Railway to import the very first loads of Idaho potatoes into Canada. This historic achievement earned him the endearing title of “Potato King” among his friends, fellow business managers and the community.

North American Produce Sales Tom Yee company Vancouver history

Another young customer of the Tom Yee Company was well-known Canadian author Wayson Choy, son of a cook on Canadian Pacific Ocean Steamship Line, who described his childhood memoirs as a fellow Chinese immigrant in Vancouver, and fondly recalls visits to “Mr. Yee’s vegetable shop” in his award winning autobiography.

Choy, raised largely by the extended community while his father was at sea, describes how Mr. Tom’s store, its employees and customers became a fond keepsake of the community’s history and created the background for his eventual bestselling novels.

Mr. Tom’s vision and  focus on quality produce, community involvement, and creating stable and diverse relationships with suppliers and customers is one which has endured through four generations. There are very few companies across the continent that have such a rich history and experience in the world of produce supply chain management, and even fewer that are family-owned, focused primarily on sustainability and reputation.

BC Childrens Hospital North American Produce Sales Vancouver charityThrough decades of building our grower, supplier and customer networks, we have established ourselves as more than just a seller of quality produce; we regard ourselves as partners in the success of the food service and retailers we do business with. Alongside our broad network, we support local growers by making efforts to buy local produce and support local businesses.  These range from small specialty retailers to several of Canada’s largest supermarkets, luxury cruise lines, and many casual and fine dining outlets.

North American Produce Sales Vancouver Trucks Fresh Vegetables FruitThrough our various fund raisers and contributions, we have become a major sponsor of the B.C. Childrens Hospital, the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, and other smaller (but just as important) charities and deserving causes.

North American Produce Sales is a proud supporter of the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association, Vancouver Slow Pitch Softball, Vancouver Canadians Baseball, and Port Moody Minor Hockey League.  We also support the Avant Dance Ballet Studio in Burnaby, and sponsor Marine Drive Golf Club’s associate pro Greg Pool.

The family and staff at North American Produce Sales recognize our duty to the people that we serve and support us. We will always be committed to our core values of  offering respect, trust, quality, and value  to the customers, partners, suppliers  and communities which have helped us grow into what we are today.

As a 4th generation owned and operated family business, our experience and knowledge of the products we source and sell is unmatched. We provide customers with a dependable, competitive and flexible produce supply chain, with quality and integrity at the heart of everything we do.

Please contact us today to see how we can meet your specific needs, learn about our world-class food quality and safety certification, view our wide range of products and services, or go to our home page.

Specialized Produce Suppliers

Asian vegetables North American Produce Sales sourcing local imported fruits supply chain specialtyWe have a worldwide network of produce growers and distributors ready to deliver what you need, when you need it, and are ProAct foodservice distribution members. These respected partnerships  mean we enjoy bulk volume benefits, but can also source and deliver smaller quantity buys which other suppliers may find difficult, especially in the Asian vegetable market. This is how we become strategic partners in our customers’ success; when you’re struggling to find exactly what you need, call on our expertise to ensure you can stay focused on keeping your business running smoothly.

Fast, Safe, Efficient

Asian vegetables North American Produce Sales sourcing local imported fruits supply chain specialty “Just-In-Time” supply chain management principles and partners, lean stock control, and an extensive delivery fleet all ensure strict quality and performance standards. All produce is immediately inspected and packaged in our Primus Labs Certified warehouse before being sent for delivery, ensuring freshness while reducing stock overhead, which also allows us to offer competitive pricing to customers. This streamlined management of suppliers, produce, safety controls, and logistics has garnered us a reputation for stability and dependability, and an enviable Blue Book credit ranking.

Proud Community Leaders

Community vegetables North American Produce Sales sourcing local imported fruits supply chain specialty We see produce as more than products, and customers as more than just buyers. Why else would we be doing this so passionately for over 75 years? Besides becoming one of Vancouver most respected suppliers, we have contributed towards local upliftment programs, charities, and scholarships, giving back to communities that support us. We are a veteran donor to the B.C. Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network. We strive to use local suppliers where possible, and create a work environment that fosters and promotes responsibility, respect and enjoyment in everything we do.

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