(UPDATED COVERAGE, Feb. 2) More than 30 years after helping to found Tavilla Sales Co. of Los Angeles, Bill Vogel has launched a new produce business based in Pharr, Texas.
Vision Produce Partners of Texas includes Ben Brittain as executive vice president and managing member. Vogel is the majority partner, working with partners Raul Millan and Ron Cohen of Vision Import Group in New Jersey.
“The combination of grower relations between Tavilla Sales, Vision Import Group and Deb Brittain will put (the new company) in the mango and lime deal with year-round supplies,” Vogel said. “Our goal at Tavilla Sales has been to reach closer to the source for our product lines and this partnership puts us squarely at the source.”
Vogel said the new company will focus on imported produce from Mexico, especially mangoes and limes, which both Tavilla Sales and Vision Import Group already have as primary products. During February, Vogel said, he expects to increase mango volumes to nearly 20 loads per week. He said that should double in early March.
“We are already crossing limes from a couple of growers,” Vogel said Jan. 31. “We will be shipping the El Sol brand and using some generic brands until we determine the consistency of quality.”
In addition to mangoes and limes, Vision Produce Partners of Texas plans to focus on other tropical fruit, carrots, Hispanic and chili products on a seasonal basis.
The company’s mango deal for the “Van Gogh” and “Little Princess” brands is being promoted as the highlight of a 4-million-box program, with fruit grown and packed in Michoacán and Jalisco. The new company will pack and ship its own product to the U.S. border from Chiapas, Oaxaca, Nayarit and Sinaloa.
Vision Produce Partners of Texas will be headquartered at a new cold storage facility in Pharr, Texas. Mary Garza is office manager, Hugh Reza is the on-site Mexico manager, and Ben Brittain Jr. will work in sales.