Gary has worked in the frozen fruit industry for over twenty years, covering a multitude of areas from production, sales and business development to R&D to QA. He worked at J.R. Wood Foods (now Dole Packaged Foods), Big Valley branded fruit and vegetables and New West Foods, before launching a consultancy where he developed product lines and offshore sourcing for the US markets for a client list that included Triton Foods, Commodity Management Systems, and Eurofrost. He has trained processing facilities in production techniques for frozen fruit and vegetables from Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Belgium, France, and China. He launched Patagonia Foods with Marianne Rigby in 2005.
“We have to deliver to our customers more than they expect. If we can deliver peace of mind, great value, and on-going solutions to our customers, then we are on the right track. This is the reason why we are in business.
The best frozen fruit products are the products that deliver outstanding flavor without the high cost and problems associated in handling fresh fruit: strawberries at 8 brix and over; raspberries; mangoes at the peak of ripeness; dark sweet cherries; full ripe freestone peaches; super sweet pineapple; 20 brix bananas; blueberries; and sweet variety blackberries - all deliver outstanding value versus the fresh alternative. I would add a whole host of blends and we are still just scratching the surface in the frozen fruit industry. Also, there are a multitude of exotic purees that should be used wherever possible, as they offer flavors that our increasingly sophisticated consumers are demanding from us. Passionfruit, guava, guanabana, lucuma, mamey are just a few.
I feel very lucky to have found a career that enables me to bring the world’s best fruit flavors to the best companies in the US.”