Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. has a long history in the Washington, D.C. area. The Pappas' produce business dates back to 1901 when Pete K. Pappas immigrated to America from Sparta, Greece. He started selling produce from a push cart in the early 1900s, then had a retail stand in the Center Market in 1917, and in 1932 moved to the Union Market, now known as the Florida Avenue Market.
In 1940, the company was known as Pete Pappas & Son, as Pete K. Pappas’ eldest son Gus started working full time to help at the market and job produce to other vendors. In 1942, Pete Pappas & Son was asked to handle a load of tomatoes that had been damaged in transit, which they re-packaged into sellable containers. This was the birth of the company as we know it today.
Pete Pappas & Son has specialized in repacking tomatoes under the Patricia Brand label for chain stores and the food service industry ever since. World War II ended in 1946, and George Pappas, Gus’ younger brother, returned from the Air Force to join the family business. The company became known as Pete Pappas & Sons. That same year, Pete Pappas & Sons bought a stable at 12 ½ Street, SE, and converted it into a re-packing plant.
The company has grown and expanded its operation into several different locations. In 1979, the Pappas family purchased the existing warehouse, a 90,000 square ft. facility that was initially used by the Safeway Pre-pack operation. In 1972, Gus’ son Pete joined the business and was followed by George’s son Phillip shortly thereafter.
Pete and Phil ran the company as produce specialists, expanding the business by adding potatoes, onions, and all types of berries to complement their tomato repacking operation. After the retirement of Phil in 2010, the company continues to expand, purchasing a 120,000 sq ft warehouse to satisfy its growing needs. Today Pete Pappas & Sons Inc. is in the capable hands of Pete and his sons, the 4th generation of the Pappas family, Gus and Aris Pappas.