The Food Network and a variety of other cooking shows feature one ingenious chef after another, each with their own arsenal of tantalizing exotic recipes. There is a huge focus on food and its appeal and vitality. Yet, while we see Rachel Ray chopping up a bell pepper for her comfort meals, or Chef Ramsay demanding fresh tomato, do we ever consider who it is that gets them such delectable produce in the first place? Who is it that nurtures, protects, and transports nature’s creations, so that a chef or home cook can take pride in their own creations and so that the masses can have something to eat?
This is what Ciruli Brothers, a quality produce grower, specializes in. Ciruli Brothers has been growing high quality produce since the 1930s. In the early 1900s, Charlie Ciruli’s parents moved from Italy to Colorado and bought land for farming. During tough times, at the age of nine, Charlie was given responsibility to farm five of ten acres of it, with the provision that he make a profit. Charlie did, and he started a strong family tradition in the process. His company is now in its third generation. Chuck III and Chris Ciruli, Charlie’s grandsons, are tasked with overseeing the growing and delivery of fine produce.
Pictures of their father, Chuck II, as a young boy, graced company packages during the company’s early years. His father was proud of him. Chuck II says: “I have a lot of memories of my father from my childhood days. My dad started taking me with him to the farms and packing houses when I was 6. My grandparents were vegetable growers and farming was a big family affair. I remember my grandmother and aunt would harvest the crop and then it would be sent to a nearby packing shed. There were a lot of small farmers in the Pueblo community at that time. I really enjoyed it, especially during the busy summer season. My dad would take me to the packing house and since I was the boss’ little kid, everyone was very nice to me. I got to see how vegetables were sorted and packed.”
Chuck II continued the tradition with his own children. “I started the same tradition with my kids the summer when Chuck and Chris were about 11 and 12 years old. Well, actually, even younger than that, I would take them on trips with me, and we would visit packing houses and warehouses together. It wasn’t until that summer, though, that I asked a professional bird dog to take the boys out on his next quality run.” (If you don’t know what a bird dog is, it is basically someone trained to inspect fresh produce for quality and condition.)
Chuck II believes that out of the many things his father taught him about business, the most important were “integrity, honesty, and treating people right.” He passed those values on to his sons too.
Chuck III and Chris are leading a successful high quality produce growing company in today’s globalized market. They understand their foods, the environment, potential business markets, and also the social and political concerns of growing in today’s world. Yet, their number one focus is delivering great quality produce and customer service. The brothers continue with the family tradition of integrity, honesty, and treating people right as they help to bring fine, fresh, produce to your plate.