Retail | Wholesale | Food | Beverage 2023: DAVID GUM
CEO, NATIONAL FRUIT PRODUCT, WINCHESTER
Gum’s company, whose apple products east of the Mississippi are sold mostly under the White House Foods label, has been family-owned since 1908. Owned by the Armstrongs for 98 years, National Fruit was purchased by Gum in 2006, although he worked at the company since he was 20.
The Gum family also owns Winchester-based furniture manufacturer Henkel Harris, which they acquired in 2013.
Among its products are apple cider vinegar, apple juice and applesauce, and the company says it is the largest privately owned apple processor in the nation. Gum has said he is committed to growing the company’s own orchards by 200 acres each year, with a goal of eventually producing 50% of its supply needs. Today, in addition to Virginia apples, the company’s fruit is sourced from North Carolina, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
In a 2022 federal copyright lawsuit, California-based Bragg Live Food Products claimed White House’s vinegar packaging was too similar to Bragg’s labeling. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount, and the case was dismissed.
Editor’s note: This entry has been updated from the published version, which incorrectly stated that Henkel Harris was no longer in operation. The furniture company is still operating in Winchester.