Wheeling-based produce supplier Coronet Foods was cleared of any involvement in an outbreak of salmonella in the summer of 2004, but the local company has still been unable to find a new client.

The company announced Thursday it is ceasing operations.

The Wheeling-based produce supplier had been in business since 1965, but couldn’t survive the loss of its biggest client. In a news release, Coronet CEO Ernie Pascua blamed a "sudden reduction in volume" because of an "alleged salmonella incident this past summer."

Sheetz convenience stores dropped its contract with Coronet after 300 customers got sick from salmonella. The company had been trying to find new clients, but the letter to employees says bad publicity made that next to impossible.