Antonio Villasenor, founder of Mexican avocado company Aztecavo, is flanked by sons Gabriel Villasenor (left) of La Bonanza, and Toño Villasenor of Aztecavo. ( Courtesy La Bonanza )

Antonio Villasenor, founder of Michoacan, Mexico, avocado grower-exporter Aztecavo, recently received accolades from the industry and government for his role in the growth of the industry.

His youngest son, Gabriel Villasenor, founder and owner of La Bonanza Avocados, Uruapan, Mexico, and Mission, Texas, said his father instilled a strong leadership value in the family. His brother, Toño Villasenor, works at Aztecavo with their father.

“A true respect for all aspects of the avocado business.” Gabriel Villasenor said in a news release, “not only to develop our own family businesses within the family but also to pass those values on to the younger generations, the future leaders of our industry.”

Antonio Villasenor was a grower in the 1970s and moved into exporting in the 1980s, focusing on Europe and Japan, new markets for avocados, according to the release. A lot of the temperamental fruit was lost to spoilage in the early years, but the company improved the supply chain through experimentation.

Aztecavo also exports to the U.S.

The recognition came from the Government of the State of Michoacan and the Integral Port Administration, according to the release.

“Being an exporter rather than just a business has forged us as a family,” Antonio Villasenor said after receiving the honors, according to the release.