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Val Verde Vegetable Co. sets the standard for more growth

In 1935, Frank Schuster Sr., a young immigrant from Austria, made his way to South Texas in search of a new home and the American Dream. Just 15 years old, Mr. Schuster took what he already knew about hard work and set out to earn a living. In addition to starting a family, he built a business that became synonymous with agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley and lives on today in the McAllen, TX-based Val Verde Vegetable Co.

Over the years, Mr. Schuster Sr. translated his skills and ambitions into a quality-minded farming and ranching operation known for being on the cutting edge of production technology. His pioneering spirit also helped him make the early determination that a vertically integrated business model gave him the best ability to maintain control of his products in the marketplace.

He began selling his own products, including cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, onions and cantaloupe.

As Frank Schuster Farms grew, Mr. Schuster Sr. continued to focus on family. He enjoyed working side-by-side with his children, including son Frank Jr., who joined the family business in the 1970s after earning a business degree at Cornell University. As Frank Jr. learned the business and applied his education, he continued to carry on his father’s legacy by focusing on innovation.

In 1985, Frank Schuster Jr. took a major step in the expansion of Frank Schuster Farms with the formation of the Val Verde Vegetable Co., which expanded the sales and marketing operations of Frank Schuster Farms to include year-round sales for more than 50 commodities from Texas and Mexico.

Frank Schuster Jr. again moved the company forward with a major facility expansion that relocated operations from a 10,000-square-foot warehouse to 100,000 square feet of warehouse space that includes three variable-temperature- and humidity-controlled coolers.

With over 50 products available throughout various growing seasons, Val Verde Vegetable continues to focus on a few key items from the company’s early days, including cabbage and broccoli.

Along with these family favorites, Val Verde Vegetable Co. is also known as a grower of high-quality leafy greens, including collards, kale, beets, mustard, Swiss chard and turnips.

In addition to its staples, greens and cabbage, Val Verde has become a key source for many specialty and ethnic items, from daikon and kohlrabi to methi leaf, along with Mexico import favorites, including limes, lemons, carrots and various winter vegetables.

This focus on core items and the availability of specialty items is made possible by Val Verde’s focus on customer service and the ability to manage the time-consuming detailed work of facilitating less-than-load freight and arranging single-point consolidation at its McAllen warehouse.

Today, Frank Schuster Jr. is proud to work alongside his own sons, passing on his father’s legacy.

As a vertically integrated company, Frank Schuster Farms, Clean Harvest and Val Verde Vegetable Co. work together to grow, harvest, pack and sell top-quality products from Texas and Mexico.

Frank Schuster Jr., along with his sons and valued employees, continues to take progressive steps in the farming, packing, warehousing and management aspects of the business.

Some current Val Verde Vegetable Co. projects are focused on technology system upgrades, precision farming, quality systems and new variety trials.

For over 75 years, Frank Schuster Sr.’s enduring principles — a commitment to quality and customer service based on a core value of respect for people — live on in the Frank Schuster family and its employees.

Every family member and employee sets out to fulfill the company mission to “satisfy customers by exceeding expectations,” while upholding the vision of “setting the standard for more.”