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10 Days of Giving

Our Farms

Strawberry Field

Santa Maria

March 18, 2017

“Doing things for others is a lot of fun.”

– Bill “Monc” Moncovich

about_us_pics_2017.pngMore than 35 years ago, our founders, cousins Pat Riordan and Bill “Monc” Moncovich teamed up with childhood best friend, Frank Saveria, and began to sell strawberries from a simple trailer in Watsonville, CA. Years later, we’ve developed a family of people who share our passion for berries. From planting, growing, harvesting and shipping, it takes every single person here at California Giant to get our berries from our farms to your table. While our farms have grown from a small local strawberry shipper to an international berry company, our ethics and philosophies remain the same. We are proud and grateful for the hard work of an old trailer, two cousins and a childhood best friend.

Learn more about our history!

Our History

  1. 1970

    Bill Moncovich, Frank Saveria, and Pat Riordan joined together to sell strawberries from a trailer in Watsonville, CA. That old trailer still sits on our property to remind us of where we started and how we got here.

  2. 1983

    The founders incorporated as New West Fruit Corp., shipping strawberries from Watsonville and Santa Maria under the brand “California Giant” since our customers came to expect the biggest and best berries from us.

  3. 1993

    The company entered the Oxnard, CA region, which allowed us to provide a year-round supply of strawberries.

  4. 1998

    Our founders officially adopted ‘California Giant’ as the company name and sharpened the focus of being a year-round supplier of strawberries. Our family grew to a small number of passionate growers that shared a focus on quality.

  5. 2004

    California Giant began to grow additional berries, specifically blueberries, to expand the focus to a full line of both organically grown and conventionally grown berries due to increased demand from consumers like you.

  6. 2010

    We opened an office in Chile and worked with local growers to provide a more abundant supply of California Giant blueberries.

  7. 2013

    California Giant established a Mexican subsidiary company to contribute high-quality production of strawberries and blackberries from an expanding sourcing region.

  8. 2015

    Giving back to our employees, customers, communities and causes has always been a defining trait of our company culture. In 2015, we launched The California Giant Foundation, devoted to affect positive change in:

    • Childhood obesity and school nutrition
    • Hunger and food insecurity
    • Community support and development
    • Prevention awareness

  9. 2017

    We expanded future growing regions and acreage for fresh raspberries to increase our availability of this consumer favorite.

Our Berry Story

Learn how our berries get from our farms to your kitchens!

1 Planting Our berry’s life cycle begins in nurseries where plantlets are trimmed by hand, boxed and transported to our growers’ fields. Plantlets are planted each fall, allowing berries to grow and mature before shifting to the fruit-bearing stage.
2 Protecting While farmers wait for the annual harvest to begin, the fields are surrounded by deer fences to protect plants and young fruit. Plants are nurtured with regular hand weeding. Farmers also use special fertilizers to feed the plants as they shift into their fruit bearing stage. We even have bug vacuums to remove unwanted guests.
3 Picking Once the weather warms and days slowly get longer, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are ready to be picked by hand and placed straight into the containers you see in store. Containers are loaded in trays and inspected thoroughly onsight before moving to cooling facilities. We move our berries quickly from the fields to cooling facilities to ensure the longest shelf life possible. Berries lose a day of life every hour they are left in the heat so we work diligently to protect our delicate berries.
4 Packing In cooling facilities, fans pull field heat out of berries and bring their internal temperature down to 32 degrees. Once berries have reached optimum temperature they are moved to holding rooms awaiting shipment. Before being loaded on to refrigerated trucks for shipment, trucks are inspected for cleanliness and to ensure temperature is held at 32 degrees. Throughout the trip to retail warehouses berries are kept at 32 degrees to provide the freshest and most delicious berries. Refrigeration is the key to keeping berries fresh until ready to eat!
5 Purchasing The final step in our berry story is you! Our berries travel hundreds of miles on refrigerated trucks to retailers all over the country. Our berry story is incomplete without you and we want to thank you for enjoying our strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
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