Brandon Grimm General Manager, Cal Organic Division Grimmway Farms Bakersfield, CA

Director Since 2019 | Member Since 1986

A Rich Family Legacy to Uphold

C ompany Background: Brothers Rod and Bob Grimm grew up in Orange County and were growers and marketers of sweet corn and other crops for about 15 years before moving the operation up to Bakersfield and becoming a leader in the carrot category. The Brothers Grimm built quite a legacy as the carrot kings of the world before each passed at an early age, Rod at 51 in 1998 and Bob at 54 in 2006. It was shortly thereafter that Bob’s oldest son, Brandon, joined the company on a full-time basis. Born in Agriculture: When Brandon was born in late 1981, the Grimms were still based in Orange County, farming in several locations including San Juan Capistrano. Corn was their top crop but they had started exploring the carrot business. In 1983, the company moved its operations to Bakersfield and began its ascent up the carrot totem pole. Consequently, Brandon grew up in the southern San Joaquin Valley doing odd jobs on the farm and in the packing shed beginning when he was about eight or nine. He continued with the company on a part-time basis as he went through school, which included securing a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Concordia University back in Orange County. “I always expected that I would join the family business,” he says. “It is something I always wanted to do.” Working his way up the ladder: Upon joining the company full time in that fateful 2006 year, Brandon started as an apprentice in the organic baby carrot program and worked his way up to operations manager. He also oversaw the frozen division. Several years later he joined the company’s robust organic division and was named general manager of that company sector three years ago. As it is a family business, Brandon said several of his jobs over the years overlapped and he anticipates

more responsibilities as he moves forward and gains experience about the different aspects that make up Grimmway Enterprises, which is the umbrella name for the organization. The Baby Carrot Revolution: It was the development of the baby carrot that vaulted Grimmway Farms to the top of the category and also pushed carrots into a major sales driver within the produce category. “In the early ‘90s, before the advent of baby carrots, per capita consumption of fresh carrots was around three pounds,” said Brandon. “Baby carrots moved consumption up to about nine pounds by about 2000. Since then, there has been a lot of activity in foodservice and we are now up to about 11-12 pounds per person.”

Brett, Brandon, and Bryan in the carrot field

6   Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com   SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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