Ciruli Bros. LLC in Nogales, AZ, and The Horton Fruit Co. in Louisville, KY, announce the addition of industry veteran Tommy Wilkins as director of sales and business development for Grow Farms Texas LLC, a partnership between both companies.
"We could not be happier to have Tommy join us," Chuck Ciruli III, chief executive officer of Ciruli Bros. and a partner in Grow Farms Texas, said in a press release. "His experience and passionfor the produce industry make him a valuable asset to our team. We are grateful for the opportunity to work together."
A native of Lubbock, TX, Wilkins will make the move to the Rio Grande Valley following his departure from The United Family (formerly United Supermarkets LLC), where he was a key player in developing the produce procurement division.
Wilkins, who has known the Ciruli family since the early 1990s, will be responsible for developing sales and marketing programs from the south Texas region.
"Teaming up with Ciruli Brothers and Horton Fruit was a natural fit due to the owners' integrity, commitment to quality and their vision in the industry," Wilkins said in the press release. "They have also shown tremendous support for the work I have done with the trade, which resonates very well with me. Grow Farms Texas offers me a chance to expand a solid growing, packing, and shipping program that is anchored in South Texas. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to join such a great group of people."
"Tommy's years of experience and professional scope make him a perfect fit for the flourishing operations at Grow Farms Texas," Jackson Woodward, CEO of Horton Fruit and a partner in Grow Farms Texas, said in the press release. "Operating from the company's cold storage facility in Donna [TX], Tommy will be able to cultivate new business and bring innovative solutions to retail and foodservice clients. Tommy will also have access to a wide array of products from Ciruli's Mexican farming operations, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, beans, eggplant and mangos.
In addition to this direct line of supply, Wilkins will have the expansive network of Ciruli and Horton Fruit to tap into, which includes Ciruli's distribution centers in Nogales, AZ; Sunnyside Packing's California-based vegetable program; Ciruli's exclusive mango production; Horton Fruit's packing and distribution center in Louisville, KY; and Horton's Midwest and Southeast fruit and vegetable growing programs, which operate under the "Grow Farms" brand from offices in Kentucky and Florida. Grow Farms Texas will also have access to Horton's dedicated trucking lines, Flagship Transportation and First Call Logistics.
Horton and Ciruli Brothers' collective resources will enable Wilkins and Grow Farms Texas to move swiftly to meet the demands of current and future business while providing year-round supply solutions with great flexibility.
"We have been operating in south Texas for over 15 years now, and we are confident that Tommy's skills and experience are what we need to fuel our continued growth. We are excited to have him," Ciruli added in the press release.