In 1989, several families, long established in California’s produce-rich Salinas Valley, joined forces to form Boggiatto Produce, a grower and shipper of fresh produce. A spin-off of the original Boggiatto family business, the new venture focused on shipping a much-larger variety of fresh produce. Founded on a tradition of excellence, this team proved to be very successful, drawing upon their families’ long associations with agriculture in the Salinas Valley. [Click here to read about Boggiatto Produce today]
THE BOGGIATTO FAMILY
Company President Michael Boggiatto’s family roots in agriculture go back to 1907 when Antonio Boggiatto, a young Northern Italian immigrant started a new life in the United States. After trying his hand at several trades in Northern California, Antonio and his wife, Gussie, found success growing artichokes in the Castroville area of Monterey County.
Antonio’s son, Eugene Boggiatto, became involved with the family business after returning from World War II in the late 1940s. After honing his skills growing artichokes for several years, Gene established the area’s first roadside produce stand and began his own artichoke shipping operation from the home ranch.
After he started marketing the artichokes from other area growers, Gene opened the first successful, centralized artichoke packing shed in 1961. This led to many other agricultural “firsts” – First to use corrugated cartons, rather than wood crates; First to ship artichokes by air; First to effectively pre-cool artichokes prior to shipping.
Gene’s son, Michael, joined the family business in 1975 to develop an artichoke mail order division. When Gene retired, Michael assumed leadership of the family business. In 1989 Michael, along with several other long-established area families formed a new entity, Boggiatto Produce, adding broccoli, romaine, lettuce, and other vegetables to the traditional Boggiatto artichoke product line.
THE HITCHCOCK FAMILY
The Hitchcock family, represented by Vice President Jeffry Hitchcock was also instrumental in the creation of Boggiatto Produce. One of the earliest farming families to settle in the fertile Salinas Valley, Jeff’s great-great-grandfather, John Iverson, began farming in South Monterey
County in the 1880s. At the turn of the 20th century, his great-grandfather, Ross Nissen, began growing sugar beets for the Spreckels Sugar factory. In the 1920s, Jeff’s grandfather, Milton Hitchcock, started a seed business, eventually turning to the growing of vegetables.
Jeff’s father, Bud Hitchcock, started Hitchcock Pack Co. in the 1940s, packing and shipping lettuce, carrots and cauliflower. Later Bud and his brothers established Let-Us-Pak an iceberg lettuce and carrot shipper. As a founding member of Boggiatto Produce, Jeff brought 12 years of broccoli experience with him.
THE PANZIERA FAMILY
Original founders Ron Panziera and his brother Ed Panziera, have a long family history in South Monterey County agriculture After establishing themselves as dry farmers and cattle ranchers in the 1920s, the Panziera family later expanded into the dairy industry. This, too, gave way to irrigated crops in the mid-1900s. Today, nearly a century later, Ron and Ed are continuing the Panziera family’s tradition of farming, with several of their children also picking up the reins to help lead their family into their 100th year of production agriculture.