Top Brass is poised for a successful grape season

dixon33Grapes are sweet, healthy, and refreshing, which makes them a perfect fruit for spring and summer, consumers can look forward to a robust supply of high-quality grapes from Top Brass this year.

“Grapes appear to be a little earlier than last season with most varieties in line with last year’s crop size,” said Brett Dixon, President of Bakersfield, CA-based Top Brass. “Supplies should once again be plentiful at a time when Mexico will most likely finish sooner than normal with an anticipated shortage in their crop size. Our fields should fill that gap nicely with the premium quality we normally see from our fields.”

Top Brass grows a wide variety of red and green grapes, as well as black varieties such as Summer Royal and Sweet Sapphire, and Dixon noted that high-flavor grapes are growing in popularity.

“We have Candy Crunch, Candy Drops and Candy Snaps coming off this year with Sweet Bond, Candy Hearts and Gracenotes starting next season,” he said. “We are anticipating strong demand in these amazing new grapes and will be packing the stand-up pouches as well as 2-pound clamshells in these very flavorful varieties. Our customers have told us these grapes add incremental volume and margin to their overall grape category.”

A commitment to quality and service has made Top Brass one of the most revered names in the San Joaquin Valley.

“We are the earliest growing region outside of Coachella in California with grapes,” Dixon said of the Valley. “The soil in this region is ideal for table grapes as is our weather with the warm summers and cooling hours required in the winter. These ideal conditions result in Top Brass growing some of the finest grapes grown in the world.”

Top Brass also has a successful organic potato program.

“Our top quality organic potatoes come at a time when they are much needed in the food supply chain. in our current economic conditions,” Dixon said. “We started out very strong the second week of May and intend on going through mid-July.”

The company has also grown organic almonds for a number years, and the big news this year is that they will be offering them in a 25-pound carton.

Dixon said one of the biggest challenges facing Top Brass comes with issues dealing with water.

“Changes are coming soon that will regulate ground water from our wells,” he said. “For many years, we have invested in our infrastructure to compensate when the water districts cannot deliver the water needed to grow our fruits and vegetables. Top Brass has always had a proactive approach in regards to our water needs. Our farming department has anticipated these challenges and taken action in the past several years. With this forward thinking approach we have been ahead of the game in regard to having the water needed to grow a proper crop. Our plans are in place so that we can continue to deliver the highest quality fruits and vegetables to our customers and consumers in the US and abroad. We also own land in some of the best areas of the valley with better water supplies than many other areas.”

The company recently announced the hiring of Amanda Dixon as a junior sales associate, and she has been learning the business from the ground up. She is expected to become a key member of the team as it continues to spare no expense in order to provide the finest products.

“Being a family farm allows us to make decisions in a moment’s notice. We are not bogged down by bureaucracy and red tape that can delay the process of making quick changes to the growing conditions or weather at the time,” Dixon said. “We are also quick to reply to particular sales or programs in advance. Top Brass is completely integrated from owning our own land, growing and harvesting our own crops we have our own cold storage and finally we ship to our customers. This type of control and care that we take during the entire process is what separates us from other companies.”

Photo: Brett Dixon

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