The Kopke name is a promise. We are family. We are serious. We produce.
Kopke, (William H. Kopke Jr., Inc.) is a fourth-generation family-owned company that was founded in 1937 by its namesake.
For over 86 years, Kopke has imported and exported the finest fruits from all over the world for distribution throughout North America and Asia. As an industry leader, we continue to add value as we are vertically integrated with investments in refrigerated distribution centers, logistics and agriculture.
Kopke is first and foremost a family company. As a fourth-generation family-owned business, Kopke began with a man pursuing his dreams while doing what he knew best: importing and exporting the world’s finest fruits and produce. Family values such as integrity, honesty, and hard-work are the cornerstones on which the company was built. In an ever-changing market, Kopke has combined its traditional values with key modern components—such as quality assurance, sustainability, and innovation—to secure its place in the produce world. While Kopke is dedicated to tradition, we remain flexible, responsive to changing markets, and carefully attuned to our customers’ needs and wants. This allows Kopke to be the #1 importer of Chilean fruit, as well as a leader in importing produce from Peru, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico along with various other countries.
Innovation is viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs in the business world. This is exactly what Kopke strives for in the agricultural market. Kopke uses new technologies, practices, and standards to remain cutting-edge, while always bringing the highest quality produce to our customers. Inventive packaging, state-of-the-art shipping, and ground-breaking growing techniques guarantee that our customers remain satisfied and that the quality of our products continue to set the bar.
After years of trading with his brother Hans Kopke in Germany, William H. Kopke Jr. emigrated to New York City at the age of 27 to pursue the American dream doing what he knew best: importing and exporting the finest fruits and produce. William H. Kopke, Jr. opened his doors for business and rented a desk for two days a week near the Washington Street Market (in what is now the Tribeca area).
WWII’s escalation in Europe halted the large imports of chestnuts from Italy, though they resumed strongly again after the war was over.
During WWII, imports were more limited, but William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. forged strong relationships with the top suppliers in South America to ensure that Americans were able to have access to fresh products.
Peter Kopke, Sr., William’s only son, joined William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. as a full-time employee, having worked at the New York fruit auctions for his father since he was a boy.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. began large distribution of Chilean grapes throughout North America. This business allowed for consumers to purchase grapes during the winter months.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. arranged for the first Australian Packham and Bosc pear imports to the USA since 1950. William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. moved to Hunts Point in the Bronx, near the Hunts Point Market, obtaining large warehouses with in-house fumigation for Chilean grapes—the only privately-owned facility for that purpose.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. began using port of Philadelphia instead of New York City as its biggest hub for shipments of fruit. The company also began importing produce via airplane in the late 70s, with this practice becoming even more prevalent in the 80s.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. left auction and initiated total private selling of Chilean fruits.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. began importing directly into Los Angeles for west coast distribution.
The William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. corporate office relocated to Lake Success, New York.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. arranged to import the first Argentine pears since the early 1970s.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. established relationships with fine fruit and produce exporters in South Africa, allowing for even more exotic products to be imported to the US market.
Peter’s first son, Peter Kopke, Jr., became the first of the third generation of Kopkes to join the company. His brothers would soon follow, with William Kopke joining in 2002 and David Kopke in 2005.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. was honored with the first Friend of Chile award, which was presented by former Governor Edward G Rendell of Pennsylvania.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. signs license agreement with Disney Garden for grape and cherry distribution in the United States & Canada with a singular focus on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables among children.
*License expired as of 12/31/2010.*
Peter Kopke Sr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his five decades of work pioneering the Chilean grape business in the United States. The award was in recognition of his profound contributions to the Chilean and American fruit trade, his vision, consummate diplomatic skills and the pivotal position he created for the Ports of the Delaware River.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. invests in warehousing in Long Beach, CA where we store, pack, pre-cool and ship to western U.S. and Canada.
In 2014 William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. began working with Uruguay importing citrus and berries into North America.
William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. acquires a majority position in Stanley Orchards Sales, LLC, a leading marketer of domestic and imported apples, pears and cherries.
Both multi-generational, family owned and operated businesses, William H. Kopke Jr., Inc. and Stanley Orchards bring a combined 164 years of produce expertise, knowledge and experience to its customers and suppliers.