Local Grow­ers

Fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles have a per­sonal and dis­tinc­tive place of ori­gin.

Inde­pen­dent & small scale fam­ily farms con­tribute to our regional abun­dance and land­scape with a wide vari­ety of fresh, peak of sea­son pro­duce.

Check out some of our notable farmer pro­files to see who’s grow­ing your food.

A.V. Thomas Produce

A.V. Thomas Pro­duce is one of America’s lead­ing sup­pli­ers of fresh con­ven­tional and cer­ti­fied organic sweet pota­toes and yams in the United States. The com­pany was founded by Anto­nio Vieira Tomas, who immi­grated to the United States from the Azores Island of Pico in Por­tu­gal in 1920 and set­tled in Liv­ingston, Cal­i­for­nia.

Liv­ingston is one of the spe­cial places in the coun­try with the warm cli­mate and light, sandy soil nec­es­sary to grow sweet pota­toes, and Mr. Tomas began grow­ing them here in 1960. (Today more than 90 per­cent of California’s sweet potato crop is grown right in this area.) Mr. Tomas founded A.V. Thomas Pro­duce with 10 acres in pro­duc­tion and one small pack­ing shed in down­town Liv­ingston.

Twelve years later, his nephew, Manuel Eduardo Vieira, joined the busi­ness. Also from the Island of Pico in the Azores, Mr. Vieira had just spent 10 years in Rio de Janeiro, earn­ing a degree in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion. He would spend the next five years learn­ing the sweet potato trade at his uncle’s side.

In 1977, Manuel E. Vieira bought A.V. Thomas Pro­duce and began a new chap­ter in its his­tory, invest­ing in, grow­ing and expand­ing the busi­ness into the indus­try leader it is today.