SALINAS, Calif. — In its 25th year in business, Boggiatto Produce Inc. is sticking with what’s worked.
“We’re not putting big 25th anniversary stickers on our boxes or anything like that,” said Michael Boggiatto, president. “We celebrated it, but that’s all it is, a nice milestone. We just want to keep being successful in business as we go forward.”
Besides Boggiatto, three more founding shareholders — Jeffry Hitchcock, vice president; and directors Ron Panziera and Ed Panziera — remain with the company.
Their family farming histories in the Salinas Valley stretch back as far as four generations, in Hitchcock’s case.
In 2005, the company delivered softball-sized Iceberg Babies to the market. It was a pioneer in the romaine hearts business, introducing Garden Hearts in 1992.
The recent spike in romaine hearts prices — $20 and up for a dozen three-count packages — left Boggiatto a bit puzzled.
“We’re trying to figure out why it might be that way,” he said July 17. “We’re fairly good on supply. There’s not an abundance. A few shippers may be very short, but it’s just a little bit tight for the rest of us. We’re passing up some product because of quality issues. Plants are growing differently.”
Homegrown deals had not yet filled the gap.
“There is an increased demand,” he said. “Typically we’re up against local product, but a lot of it just hasn’t grown the way they expected it to grow.”