In May 2016 OnionBusiness.com was pleased to include Geoff Cutler from Race-West in our Millennial Trailblazer profile series. Geoff, part of the company’s fourth generation, shared his insights on Race-West’s dedication to the produce industry and its (at that time) 72-year brokerage history.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Ball-Cutler family produce legacy, Phillip G. Ball Company, and Race-West. At the helm of the operation is Harris Cutler, president, and CEO of the Clarks Summit, PA-based produce house. Working alongside Harris is his wife, Janice, as director of human resources. And the couple’s five children, including Geoff, are part of the company as well.
In answering our initial Trailblazer story three years ago, Geoff’s responses reflected profound respect he and his siblings have for their parents and the family business that had been built on commitment to integrity and hard work.
This week we’re privileged to share a piece written by Geoff that expresses both his thanks to and his pride in the onion industry. We thank you, Geoff, for this wonderful contribution.
He wrote, “It has been a few years since OnionBusiness contacted me for their Trailblazer segment. I was really honored and humbled by the platform given to me by OnionBusiness to honor my father and to share our family’s ancestry and history.
“I have been thinking over the last few months how lucky I am to be in the onion business, and I wanted to take a moment to thank the industry for being such a warm, welcoming, and familial group.
“Our onion community is so unique in the fact that there is such a great degree of diversity and independence. There is great parity in the retail business, a vibrant repacking and wholesale community, and many strong and proud growers in so many parts of the United States and Canada.
“In other commodity groups there are one or two dominant forces that lead the pack. In those commodities it is tough for small businesses to thrive. In the onion business each grower, shipper, packer, broker, wholesaler, processor and retailer has a story and the ability to make an impact on the group.
“Onions are at the epicenter of international trade, being imported and exported all over the world. Agriculture has often been looked at as one of the last free enterprises in the United States. Onions specifically have been ground zero for free trade, ingenuity and growth of the American dream.
“Our business thrives on innovation in growing and packing, technological advancements of trade, and new and creative uses of onions in cooking
“As a young person in the produce business, I have been able to take everything I learned in school and apply it in an impactful way to my life in the onion business. I have made lifelong friends I met in the onion business, and we share such deep and meaningful conversations about work, life, and family.
“Much time is wasted lamenting about the good old days and worrying about the future. As a young person I just wanted to say that the onion business is better than ever, and the future looks extremely bright. Consumption of many produce items is on the downward trend. Onion consumption, on the other hand, is getting greater and greater.
“Thank you to all of my great mentors, teachers and friends in the onion business. I am truly blessed to have you in my life. To all of the people I have not met yet, I look forward to sharing conversations and exchanging ideas with you.
“I will do my best to repay everyone in the onion business for all of the kindness you have shown me. I am forever thankful you allowed me to join in your community.”
And OnionBusiness closes by saying we’re proud to be in the same industry with you, Geoff.
Featured Image (left to right): Marcus Cutler, Ayelet cutler (Marcus’s wife), Zachary Cutler (Marcus’s son ), Janice Cutler, Max Cutler, Harris Cutler, Ava Cutler (Marcus’s daughter), Geoff Cutler, Charlotte Cutler, Joe Cutler