Bolo Brand Packing Label

Dublin Core

Title

Bolo Brand Packing Label

Description

Packing label for Reyes and de Leon Packing Company in Arroyo Grande, California. Label text: "Bolo Brand California Vegetables. Grown and packed by Reyes & De Leon Packing Co. Arroyo Grande, Calif. Produce of U.S.A." Text at bottom right: "Schmidt Litho. Co. L.A."

As Salvador Reyes's daughter explains, "During the war, my dad started farming in earnest--he was able to because the Japanese who controlled farming in the area at the time, were sent to internment camps. That is when people like our Dad and Gabriel de Leon took this opportunity to get into farming on their own. In the early 40s, my folks moved out of Steele Ranch and into a house just outside of the Arroyo Grande city limits on the south side of Arroyo Creek. It was also called Huasna Rd. at the time, and today is Branch Mill Road. My dad and Gabe both made money during the war, selling their produce to the military for the service-men at Camp Cooke and Camp San Luis Obispo. They generally could ask any price they wanted, and they'd get it. It was just mass production. There wasn’t any quality control at that time like there is today."

She also states, "Reyes and de Leon also rented farm land (together as I understand it). (Thus, the birth of "Reyes & de Leon Packing Co.") I think this is when my Dad rented farm land at Biddle Ranch east of Arroyo Grande. They formed a trucking company together--at the same time they were also farming in Oso Flaco. Their packing shed was in Guadalupe right next to the railroad tracks--the produce could be uploaded to refrigerated train cars straight from the shed. I have vivid memories of train cars full of ice. (A little anecdote: My dad and Gabe had two-way radios installed in their cars, and I can remember as kids, we would call each other up: "Car 1 calling Car 2", "Car 1 calling Car 2"? There was also a radio at the Guadalupe Packing shed where they could talk with Bill Rey, their Manager.) My Dad bought farm land in Oceano, and at the height of his career also rented farmland in the Branch area, at the Adobe ranch (which is now the Talley Winery), as well as the land around the homestead. There was also the Reyes & de Leon Trucking Co. We hired truck drivers who would haul the produce to markets in Los Angeles and San Francisco daily. I remember when we no longer had the trucking company having to drive the produce myself (in my ‘Uncle’ Philip's truck) to Arroyo Grande Trucking (near where the Catholic church--St. Patrick’s--used to be), and get it off-loaded, and they would drive it to the market. My brother and I worked every summer on the farm. Our dad and ‘Uncle’ Gabe de Leon were both aggressive and dedicated, and as a result, in their early farming days, they were known to be "kings"--they were both very successful. I still remember a picture from a Filipino magazine (The Philippine Free Press) my folks used to get (this was sometime in the early 50s)--it had our parents and the de Leons sitting in our living room on our Philippine rattan furniture--and the headline was "millionaire farmers in California"--a gross exaggeration. As competition with other vegetable growers got stiff (Japanese farmers were back and also doing very well), our dads eventually stopped farming together as partners, stopped renting farm land and just farmed the land they had bought."

Coverage

Arroyo Grande, California

Date

1950s

Creator

Schmidt Lithograph Company

Contributor

Genoveba Breitstein

Format

Packing label

Source

Email

Language

English

Type

Still image

Identifier

USA-CA-04082013-A0001-007

Files

Tags

Citation

Schmidt Lithograph Company, “Bolo Brand Packing Label,” The Re/Collecting Project , accessed November 19, 2017, http://reco.calpoly.edu/items/show/1218.

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