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Last Deliveries For Produce Business

RIVERSIDE — A longtime business in Northumberland County is calling it quits. The owners of Whitenight Produce in Riverside say this will be their last we...

RIVERSIDE -- A longtime business in Northumberland County is calling it quits.

The owners of Whitenight Produce in Riverside say this will be their last week of distributing fruits and vegetables.

Whitenight Produce is a family-owned business that has served the Danville area for decades. The owners say their main reason for retiring is competition from national retailers who can provide the same service at a lower cost.

For almost 70 years, Whitenight Produce in Riverside supplied produce to hundreds of customers in schools, restaurants, and prisons. But on Friday, the family-owned company will make its last delivery.

Owners Delavin and Shirley are retiring.

"Very hard decision, I've been kicking it around for a couple of years. It was no rush or sudden decision," said Delavin Whitenight.

"We decided with everything the way it is, we better just close up shop and end on a good note," added Shirley Whitenight.

Whitenight Produce is based in Riverside but the company delivers produce all over the state. Shirley says the main reason for retiring is competition from national wholesalers.

"A lot of the bigger companies are coming into the prisons and some of the big restaurants as a one-stop deal. They're cutting prices and we just can't compete anymore."

The Whitenights supply product to hundreds of customers, including the Country Cupboard near Lewisburg.

"We've got nothing but great service from the Whitenight family and it's kind of a great thing when you're working in a family business and purchasing from a family business," said Bob Yoder of the Country Cupboard.

Yoder is the buyer for the Country Cupboard. He says they've bought produce from the Whitenights since the 1960s and will miss working with them.

"The products were always good and it was a fair business relationship."

The Whitenights say retiring is "bittersweet."

Their 20 employees are currently looking for new jobs.

The Whitenights say they plan to travel and their goal is to square dance in all 50 states.