Ole Tyme Story

For nearly 40 years, the Daleo Family has been providing the finest produce in the St. Louis region. It all started with Joe Daleo, whose father, mother, and uncle had all been involved in produce operations, got the urge to start his own business. Rising early each morning, Joe hand selected fruits and vegetables on Produce Row for his store. His reputation for high quality and fairness quickly grew in the surrounding neighborhoods, and Ole Tyme Produce became a thriving enterprise.

Soon, business owners and managers from nearby restaurants, hospitals, schools, and caterers inquired about how they might bring quality fruits and vegetables they bought at the Ole Tyme stand to their customers. So, Joe began delivering a route of wholesale customers early each morning before the store opened.

In time, Joe was torn between his loyalty to the many individual patrons of Ole Tyme and the burgeoning but demanding needs of his commercial accounts. He closed his retail store in 1985 to concentrate all his efforts on the wholesale trade. A combination of a growing restaurant market, changing workplace demographics (two income families), and niche marketing to restaurants with quality needs brought rapid growth to Ole Tyme.

A profile of the typical Ole Tyme account soon emerged: a high need for custom or proprietary products, a strong preference for quality, a requirement for timely accurate delivery, a demand for quick response to unscheduled (late) deliveries, and an ability to stock and handle additional non-produce items. The business was customized to serve the specific needs of individual customers. Ole Tyme recognized long before Total Quality programs and Customer Satisfaction marketing campaigns that finding and serving customer needs was the company's only business.

In response to customer needs for labor and insurance cost savings, Ole Tyme partnered with regional and national processors to offer value-added product. Custom stir-fry mixes, peeled/quartered/sliced/diced russet potatoes, julienne peppers and onions, diced celery and many other products are stocked or available with 48 hours notice. To further secure all food safety, the entire staff is vaccinated for Hepatitis A, and all employees receive HACCP training on a continuing basis.

In 2000, Ole Tyme Produce became a member of PRO*ACT. PRO*ACT companies are independent perishables distributors situated throughout the United States and Canada. These companies collectively buy produce and market programs to national and regional customers. PRO*ACT companies are leading perishables distributors in their respective markets and have achieved excellence in many areas--management, financial standing, honest trade practices, food safety and facility security.

Today, Ole Tyme has a long history which best exemplifies the meeting of its goals. Many of the restaurants, caterers, and institutions Ole Tyme has served over the last 40 years are thriving operations today. Their same commitment to quality in all aspects of their business speaks to their long association with Ole Tyme. Ole Tyme's competitive advantage is simple: A genuine commitment to customers. Ole Tyme has continued over the years an unending campaign to ensuring that every Ole Tyme employee understands who s/he is working for--the customer. Ole Tyme has always affiliated and associated with the best--the best in product, employees, and customers. The slow building of Ole Tyme's reputation and name, something time measures best, explains it all.

We invite customers, managers, and trainees for produce and facility tours.