The K.M. Davies Company started as a fruit and vegetable canning operation in 1895 at its present site on Lake Avenue in Williamson. Kerrison M. Davies served as sole proprietor utilizing locally grown produce. K.M. Davies was incorporated on January 29, 1914. Customary for the times, canning companies constructed cold storage facilities in order to preserve perishable fruits and vegetables until the time for processing.
Fresh produce shipped from Williamson in the early 1900’s was primarily by railroad. Cars were cooled with ice cut from nearby ponds in winter. In 1922 K.M Davies Co. installed mechanical ice making equipment. Ice production continued into the 1990’s with production reaching over 2000 tons annually. In later years the 300lb. frozen blocks were used primarily to make ice water in the field for tart cherry harvesting operations on local fruit farms.
In 1922 the company expanded cold storage capacity by constructing a new building. The new space was used for peaches, apples, potatoes, carrots, lettuce and celery. During 1933 a produce wash house was constructed for repackers of lettuce and celery. About this time power consumption was changing from steam, generated onsite, to electricity made offsite using steam driven generators. In 1941 diesel engines were installed at the plant to power ammonia compressors because of high electricity charges in peak hours.
In the 1950’s and 60’s long term Controlled Atmosphere (CA) Storage for apples, pears and onions was researched and developed in collaboration with Cornell University. Commercial CA rooms were first built at KM Davies in the early 1960’s. Since that time, improved building techniques and advances in technology have led to the construction of more efficient and improved CA storage.
Today, K.M. Davies has over 8 million cubic feet of refrigerated space, the majority used as air tight CA rooms. Employees handle food and ingredient commodities for growers, processors, fresh packers, shippers, wholesalers and retailers. Customers are from the USA, Canada and around the world. The physical plant is continually maintained and upgraded to the most effective technology and engineering controls available to ensure the safety of personnel, our neighbors and the environment as well as the integrity of products in storage.