Veg-Fresh Farms expands its berry department with two new additions: Christian Cardenas and Jay Carreon managing blueberries and strawberries under the Crystal Cove Berry Farms brand. Crystal Cove focuses primarily on strawberries and blueberries with some raspberry and blackberry opportunities. Cardenas and Carreon both joined Veg-Fresh earlier this year to sell and manage the berry inventory and continue expanding its grower and retail partnerships.
Left to right: Christian Cardenas, Jay Carreon and Ray Iwamoto.
Cardenas previously worked at The Oppenheimer Group but started his career very early in agriculture given his family are long time strawberry growers in Santa Maria, CA. “I was excited to get back to a family run business. Although Veg-Fresh is a large company, they’ve managed to maintain a great family business mentality. Being able to react quickly to market changes and dynamics is one of the many strengths at Veg-Fresh,” says Cardenas.
Carreon brings 27 years of berry experience to Veg-Fresh Farms. He has been dedicated to selling berries since the start of his career both as a broker and inside sales. “I’m excited to continue growing the great blueberry program that exists at Veg-Fresh and see a lot of opportunity to expand the organic segment. Raspberries and blackberries will also be a focus of mine. These two categories will be a great addition to the Crystal Cove portfolio,” he says.
As the team grows, Veg-Fresh is also saying good-bye to a stellar co-worker and friend who helped build the Crystal Cove brand at Veg-Fresh Farms. Ray Iwamoto will retire this summer to enjoy traveling with his wife and family. “We are thankful for the years of hard work and dedication Ray gave to this company,” says Mark Widder. “He was absolutely instrumental in the success of the berry program. But most of all, he will be sorely missed by his Veg-Fresh Family.”