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Top Brass upping ‘candy’ varieties of grapes

By
Keith Loria

Top Brass and Vignolo Farms is a fourth-generation family farm that handles all aspects of growing, harvesting, cooling, storage, shipping and sales, with fresh table grapes from the central valley of California harvested starting in July and continuing into December.

“Historically retailers and consumers look forward to the crop with great anticipation,” said Brett Dixon, president of the Bakersfield, CA-based company. “This year is no exception. We have seen the grape category progress in size and quality for many years. The level of innovation and sophistication not only in farming practices but also in sales, has progressed over the years.”

Even though Top Brass is not one of the largest grape growers in the Central Valley, Dixon noted that customers are quick to point out that they consider them one of the best.

“We are respected in the industry by our customers as a consistent family farm that grows some of the highest quality table grapes in the industry,” he said. “We are very proud of the grapes we grow and sell to consumers all over the world.”

All of the markets, regardless of the sector, have experienced unprecedented challenges over the last several years, and Top Brass is looking towards the upcoming season as getting a bit more back to normal.

“The start of the Central Valley table grape season at Top Brass has been very good,” Dixon said. “Supply has been getting stronger since the beginning of July and we anticipate good volumes throughout the summer and fall. Our retail partners have given us great feedback on our quality. We really focus on the quality of our grapes and our commitment shows in every box of grapes that we grow and ship.”

Top Brass continues to see interest from customers and consumers for new exciting flavors of grapes.

With that in mind, the company will be offering several “candy” varieties this season, including Candy Drops, Candy Snap, Candy Hearts and Candy Crunch.

“These are relative new entries into the marketplace and while they are growing in popularity, we recognize that an important part of the business will always be great quality green, red, and black seedless grapes,” Dixon said. “Our grape quality and consistency this season is excellent. We are confident that when our customers put them on their well merchandised shelves, consumers are guaranteed to love them and come back for more.”

The sales staff at Top Brass work very closely with customers to give them ideas for merchandising opportunities.

“Our partners are excited about California grapes and know that consumers have been anticipating the grapes all year long,” Dixon said. “They do an excellent job of merchandising our grapes to maximize sales.”

With so many years finding success with grapes, Top Brass knows what it takes to keep customers happy and things running smooth.

“On the sales side, communication between our associates and our retail customers has been and will continue to be key to mutual success,” Dixon said. “This has been a strength of our salespeople and it is even more important these days with all of the cost pressures and logistical challenges in the marketplace.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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