BRAWLEY, Calif. - A first of its kind packing shed is now open in Brawley and set to begin production.
“I can't believe it, it’s finally a reality. Uncle Pat had this vision about let's pack our own fruit, let's have our own organic line here in the valley, kind of talked about it a little bit, and then here we go,” said Gina Dockstader, Owner of Doc’s Organics.
The Imperial Valley does have a packing house in Calipatria, but Doc’s Organics will be the first packing facility for organic citrus.
“We’re going to be packing lemons, minneola’s, which is a type of orange, sweet limes, and…,” added Dockstader.
And grapefruits, owners do plan on packaging for other companies and their produce, but not just yet.
“Probably in the near future, but let's make mistakes with our own fruit first and then that it’s right. Again, because it’s an organic facility we will hopefully be getting organic fruit from other counties,” explained Dockstader.
“Our fruit and orchard evaluation has been increasing in the growth of acreage that we have. And this is another piece of us having value added with imperial valley product, it puts us back on the map,” said Ryan E. Kelley who represents Imperial County Board of Supervisors, District 4.
This project was about seven months in the making and they are expected to package about 15,000 boxes of produce each week.
“We’re not full-fledged ready to go and as soon as we get our temporary occupancy permit we’re ready to rock and roll, we already have employees hire, were just waiting on few little loose ends,” said Dockstader.
“In the future we do hope to pack our own dates, we do produce our own dates but we need a little bit cooler refrigeration and at this time we weren't able to do that,” added Dockstader.