About Knouse Foodservice

Knouse Foods is an established growers’ co-op with more than 50 years of partnership that grows ever stronger. Our brands feature the quality products of 150 “family” members whose orchards are nestled along the Appalachian Mountains and throughout the rich, rolling meadows of the Midwest.
 

Just like you, food is our business. By controlling the entire production process from farm to table, we offer you and your patrons a bounty of fruit products that meet the highest standards for taste, quality and consistency. You’ll find these distinctive characteristics in every Musselman’s, Lucky Leaf or Apple Time branded product you select.

Family is the Core of Our Business

For years, we have brought you the finest fruit products with the thought, "From our family to your family!" But what exactly is our family?
 

Superior Quality 1 Quite simply, Knouse Foods is a family of 150 men and women working together to provide the highest quality fruit products for our customers, opportunities for our employees, and services to our community.
 

At the heart of our family is a partnership with the growers who own our company. This cooperative includes fruit growers along the Appalachian Mountains and throughout the Midwest. Together, we have worked to bring you fruit products that meet the highest standard of all: "We would proudly serve these products to our own family, as well as yours."
 

If we can't say that, it doesn't earn the Knouse Foods name. You see, we're as committed to preserving our unbroken history of excellence as we are to protecting the American dream by allowing the family farm to prosper.
 

That should give you a lot of confidence as you sit down with your family. If you are serving your loved ones Knouse fruit products from Musselman's, Lucky Leaf, Apple Time, Lincoln or Speas Farm brands, you are serving them the very best.
 

From our family to your family: Enjoy! 
 

Ken Guise
President and CEO

A Tradition of Caring

There's more than strength in numbers. There's quality. Integrity. And a pride in product that seems to grow exponentially with time. Or so it seems, given the history of Knouse Foods.
 

More than 50 years ago, in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, a prominent group of neighboring independent fruit growers recognized the enormous potential at their fingertips. Given their shared commitment to raising quality fruit, they formed an alliance and began working together as a grower cooperative.

Building the Foundation for Success Image

1949

Building the Foundation for Success

They soon became aware of two key weaknesses. First, they needed a reliable processor for their fruit. And second, they needed an effective leader. They addressed the first issue by purchasing apple processing plants and equipment in Peach Glen and Chambersburg, Pa. They satisfied the second need by recruiting Milton E. Knouse, a pioneer in the fruit processing industry since the 1920s. He assumed active leadership of the cooperative and on April 15, 1949, Knouse Foods, Inc. began operating officially in Peach Glen, Pa.

1949

Creating a High Quality Process

From the beginning, Knouse Foods was committed to developing processing methods that would preserve the high quality of the growers' raw fruit. During the first season in 1949, that approach was applied to the processing of apples, apple sauce, apple butter, apple base jellies, apple juice, vinegar, cherries and tomato juice. And with great success, too. That first year of business brought in $5 million in sales and created such a demand for Knouse products that the company purchased another processing plant in Orrtanna, Pa.
Creating a High Quality Process Image
Fulfilling a Market Need Image

1966

Fulfilling a Market Need

Over the next two decades, Knouse Foods continued to grow and expand its product line with market-driven offerings. For instance, as more and more women found work outside the home, fewer and fewer were able to find time to can fruit and make pies from scratch. Knouse responded by introducing ready-to-use fruited pie fillings. In June 1966, Milton E. Knouse retired, and Dean Carey was appointed president of Knouse Foods. Dean, who began his career at Knouse Foods in 1949 as an accountant, had been serving as general manager since 1963. Under Dean's leadership, Knouse Foods continued to make Lucky Leaf products a household name through the 1970s and 1980s.

1982

Expanding its Leadership Position

In 1982, Knouse Foods purchased a fruit processing plant in Paw Paw, Mich., giving the company an opportunity to expand into other parts of the United States. The Musselman's plants in Inwood, W.Va., and Biglerville and Gardners, Pa., were acquired in 1984. This gave Knouse Foods the Musselman's label and further solidified its position as a leader in the fruit processing industry.
Expanding its Leadership Position Image
Growing the Knouse Foods Family Image

2000

Growing the Knouse Foods Family

The 1990s proved to be an eventful decade with the purchases of the California Apple Time label in 1990 and the Speas Farm and Lincoln labels in 1993. Now Knouse Foods products are available in just about every supermarket in the United States. And the variety of the products has grown to nearly 400 items. Knouse Foods continues to flourish under the guidance of Ken Guise, who in July of 2000 became only the third president in the Cooperative's 50-plus year history. Ken, who began his career with the company in 1978, had previously served as an accountant, as vice president of marketing, assistant general manager and as vice-president/general manager. Today, Knouse Foods is proud to say that we are one of the world's largest apple processors and are still "Growing through Quality," our motto from the beginning. As a grower-owned cooperative, Knouse Foods is an outstanding example of how the relationship between growers and a processor can bear fruit.

1949

Building the Foundation for Success

They soon became aware of two key weaknesses. First, they needed a reliable processor for their fruit. And second, they needed an effective leader. They addressed the first issue by purchasing apple processing plants and equipment in Peach Glen and Chambersburg, Pa. They satisfied the second need by recruiting Milton E. Knouse, a pioneer in the fruit processing industry since the 1920s. He assumed active leadership of the cooperative and on April 15, 1949, Knouse Foods, Inc. began operating officially in Peach Glen, Pa.
Building the Foundation for Success Image

1949

Creating a High Quality Process

From the beginning, Knouse Foods was committed to developing processing methods that would preserve the high quality of the growers' raw fruit. During the first season in 1949, that approach was applied to the processing of apples, apple sauce, apple butter, apple base jellies, apple juice, vinegar, cherries and tomato juice. And with great success, too. That first year of business brought in $5 million in sales and created such a demand for Knouse products that the company purchased another processing plant in Orrtanna, Pa.
Creating a High Quality Process Image

1966

Fulfilling a Market Need

Over the next two decades, Knouse Foods continued to grow and expand its product line with market-driven offerings. For instance, as more and more women found work outside the home, fewer and fewer were able to find time to can fruit and make pies from scratch. Knouse responded by introducing ready-to-use fruited pie fillings. In June 1966, Milton E. Knouse retired, and Dean Carey was appointed president of Knouse Foods. Dean, who began his career at Knouse Foods in 1949 as an accountant, had been serving as general manager since 1963. Under Dean's leadership, Knouse Foods continued to make Lucky Leaf products a household name through the 1970s and 1980s.
Fulfilling a Market Need Image

1982

Expanding its Leadership Position

In 1982, Knouse Foods purchased a fruit processing plant in Paw Paw, Mich., giving the company an opportunity to expand into other parts of the United States. The Musselman's plants in Inwood, W.Va., and Biglerville and Gardners, Pa., were acquired in 1984. This gave Knouse Foods the Musselman's label and further solidified its position as a leader in the fruit processing industry.
Expanding its Leadership Position Image

2000

Growing the Knouse Foods Family

The 1990s proved to be an eventful decade with the purchases of the California Apple Time label in 1990 and the Speas Farm and Lincoln labels in 1993. Now Knouse Foods products are available in just about every supermarket in the United States. And the variety of the products has grown to nearly 400 items. Knouse Foods continues to flourish under the guidance of Ken Guise, who in July of 2000 became only the third president in the Cooperative's 50-plus year history. Ken, who began his career with the company in 1978, had previously served as an accountant, as vice president of marketing, assistant general manager and as vice-president/general manager. Today, Knouse Foods is proud to say that we are one of the world's largest apple processors and are still "Growing through Quality," our motto from the beginning. As a grower-owned cooperative, Knouse Foods is an outstanding example of how the relationship between growers and a processor can bear fruit.
Growing the Knouse Foods Family Image