Our History

Deeply Rooted In Family


The Daleo Family

In 1973, Joe and Louise Daleo began Ole Tyme Produce out of a converted two-bay filling station in St. Louis, Missouri. Rising early each morning, Joe would hand select all the fruits and vegetables on Produce Row for their small store. He and Louise knew every customer by name and soon their reputation for quality and fairness preceded them, spreading quickly throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.

In 1985, Joe and Louise decided to concentrate all efforts on the wholesale trade. The combination of a growing restaurant market, changing workplace demographics, and strategic niche marketing to restaurants with quality needs, brought rapid growth to Ole Tyme. Our growth warranted additional space and the business was relocated to the historic Produce Row in north St. Louis City in the fall of 1986. The company originally occupied two units on Produce Row, but later purchased additional space, operating out of six units from 1988 to 1998.

In 2001, Joan Daleo, became President of Ole Tyme, continuing to build on the original foundation of integrity, excellence, quality, and establishing a vision for the next generation. In August of 2016, after years of careful design and planning, Joan moved the company into a new, custom-built 60,000 square foot facility in St. Charles County.

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. Their same commitment to excellence and customer service still guides the company almost 50 years later as their small, family business has blossomed into the largest woman-owned, fresh food distributor in the state of Missouri!

About Joe

Joe’s parents, Sam and Rose Daleo as well as his uncle, Peter Daleo, all owned and operated retail and wholesale produce companies. Like them, Joe was focused on fresh produce and quality service to his customers. His standards were high. Joe hand-picked all the fruits and vegetables for sale in the small store. Joe and Louise knew all their customers by name. His reputation grew in the surrounding neighborhoods, and just months after opening the retail store, customers requested that Joe deliver products to their schools, restaurants, and catering operations.


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