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Vick Family Farms excited to be back at Southern Exposure

By
Keith Loria

Charlotte Vick, a partner and head of marketing for Vick Family Farms, has been attending and exhibiting at Southern Exposure for a decade, and is looking forward to celebrating her 10-year anniversary with the show in-person this year in Orlando.

“Southern Exposure a great show and my favorite for sure,” she said. “The attendance is always good and being smaller, just makes it that much more personable. Even though it is shorter than other shows we exhibit, I always come away knowing I got my money’s worth. It’s just a great show and put on by a great group of people that you can tell always puts the produce industry first and looks out for our best interests.”

Even though the Wilson, NC-based company will be there in person, with Ken Sikes joining Vick, Vick Family Farms will participate virtually as well for any customers who may not be able to travel.

“Face-to-Face always is best and even though we have had Zoom meetings, I do feel like we have lost the personal aspect of the produce business,” Vick said. “I truly enjoy the comradery of the produce industry and I have missed seeing everyone.”

Vick Family Farms will be at booth No. 1019, talking about the past year and mainly focused on moving forward and the growing season.

“This show will be about reconnecting with everyone, and I hope a relaxed way of getting back to being in the ‘trade show scene’ again,” Vick said. “Pretty much 100 percent of our domestic accounts are represented in some capacity at this show, so for us it will be about thanking them for a great 2020 season and just reconnecting.”

She regrets that not everyone will be able to be there, but she’s happy that a virtual option allows everyone to take part.

Last spring, Southern Exposure was the last in-person show for Vick Family Farms, and Vick hasn’t gone the virtual route.

“The challenges of being so busy with harvest this fall and our peak packing and shipping season, I have not done any virtual shows yet,” she said. “I have been on the phone more than ever, which I didn’t think was possible, but the virtual show isn’t my favorite way to conduct business, so I have tried to steer away from them as much as possible.”

She expects the conversations to be flowing, especially about COVID-19 and how it impacted everything this past year.

“We were extremely busy and didn’t have much time to get orders out,” Vick said. “It was crazy, but we were able to keep our employees healthy and keep moving ahead. Our team worked hard to do what we had to do to keep our sweet potato customers in supply in a timely manner. Not once did we have to close, which was pretty amazing considering all that was going on in the world.”

In March, the seed beds went in to mark the beginning of the 2021 sweet potato crop, and Vick is looking forward to a robust season.

“Sweet Potatoes remain a hot topic I believe because more and more people are aware how healthy it is, plus it tastes great,” she said. “We are excited to continue to grow and expand our company and customers, and continue to be innovative, staying on top and improving how and what we do on our farm and in our packing facilities.”

This past year, the company has added varieties and pack sizes for different varieties due to the demand from consumers. 

“We are working on a video that just began filming now that will document our sweet potatoes from the seed to the consumer,” Vick said. “It will be a year-long process; however, we have hired a team of professionals that already have some exciting things for us to showcase. I cannot wait to have the finished product to be able to share next spring.”

It’s just another way that Vick Family Farms continues to tell its story, something Vick noted was a key to success.

 “We try to get our customers as close to the farm as possible,” she said. “I think just making that connection really sells our brands.”

 

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