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|About||Wayne E. Bailey Produce Company is a Sweet Potato growing, packing, and shipping operation located in Chadbourn, NC. An innovator of the industry, providing delicious, nutritious, and healthy North Carolina Sweet Potatoes to grocery stores near you!|
Sweet potatoes have been around since the dawn of man. Wayne E. Bailey Produce, Inc. (WEB) has been in existence since 1935. Here's the history of the company:
When Strawberries Were King
Wayne E. Bailey and his partner, Bernard Peal, were big buyers of strawberries back in the 1930's and 1940's when Chadbourn, NC was known as the Klondike strawberry capital of the world.
"Bailey owned part of the strawberry market in Chadbourn", recalled George Wooten, current president of the company. "One day in 1942, the market was opening up and he and his partner said they were going to buy every strawberry that came across the market. At 2:00 in the afternoon, the local banker, Lacy Tate, who had a lot of loans out to local farmers, saw all the out-of-town buyers on the street and was worried that the market had closed. When he asked the buyers about it, they said they couldn't buy anything with 'those two playboys' down there.
"That was how we got the Playboy label, but in those days, a playboy was a classy, outgoing kind of guy, not what you think of today."
New Leadership in 1970
In 1970, Bailey's son, Elroy, took the leadership role and with it challenged and changed the sales paradigm of the company. These changes served as a springboard for his successor, stepson George Wooten, who joined the company in 1977. "I told my stepfather I'd like to try to sell some sweet potatoes," Wooten remembered. "He said we didn't really have any to sell, but told me I could take the Blue Book (a produce industry credit reference book) and start calling. But he said not to drop the price. I called for a couple of years without much success."
One reason is that sweet potatoes were traditionally a seasonal, holiday item back then. Wooten, however, saw their potential and set out to market them year-round.
A Devastating Fire Leads to Unprecedented Growth Opportunities
In 1978, the company's warehouse and packing facility burned to the ground and they had to build
|Awards||First Sweet Potato Packing House to be certified in the US with a Global Food Safety Initiative benchmarked audit.|
The Wayne E. Bailey Produce Company grows, packs and ships sweet potatoes for foodservice, retail, fresh cut, processing, and international markets around the world. Through ownership arrangements, we have created the United States' largest sweet potato production network. We can ship fresh products to you from our facilities located in North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. This allows us to help control your freight costs and gets your order to you in a timelier manner.
Shipping fresh sweet potatoes every day of the year from multiple locations, we offer you the most diverse packing options in the industry. Our sweet potatoes are available in a variety of consumer packs which we custom pack to your specifications.
Whatever your needs, we are committed to providing you with great sweet potatoes and outstanding service.
Reusable Plastic Containers
2-, 3- and 5-pound European Mesh or Poly Mesh Bags, packed in Mesh Masters or Club Cartons
Special Retail Packs:
Microwavable Sweet Potatoes packed in 20-pound cartons
Fingerlings packed in 20-pound bulk cartons
Specialty options packed in 10-pound cartons
Bulk Bins available
Food Service Options:
Specialty packs that are electronically-sized by count or ounces. Year-round availability
Regular Sweet Potatoes packed in 40-pound cartons
Fingerlings packed in 20- and 40-pound cartons