Church Brothers brings together a group of men with a history in this valley. Not just a history in the Produce Industry, but a history with each other. After all these years of beginnings and ends, they come back together to form Church Brothers. Their partnership has been formed with a mutual respect for one another, a hard work ethic and desire to produce
the best product available. It is a true testament to
the value of this company, to see the loyalty and
shared history of these partners after so many years.
After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Tom Church began his career at the Bruce Church Company in 1970. After becoming Sales Manager, he left to begin Fresh Western Marketing in June of 1981. He founded this company with four other partners, one of whom, Clem Richardson, still works at Church Brothers today. Jim Storm, another current CB employee also became a Fresh Western partner in 1985.
Steve Church began his career at Martin Produce Carrot Company after graduating from Arizona State in 1971. After a short time there he moved to Western Craft Carton Company until he began at Growers Exchange in 1973. In 1981, he began Steve Church Sales where he worked until becoming a partner at Fresh Western in 1985.
Fresh Western was home to many of the current CB partners. Jeff Church began his career there, as did Vince Ballesteros. Neil Milburn became a partner at Fresh Western in 1992.
In January 1994, the Fresh Western Partners sold to River Ranch, where they worked under a five year commitment until 1999. In 1999, Church Brothers Sales was born.
Church Brothers Sales began with Tom, Steve, Jeff , Vince, Brian Church and Jason Lathos, all of whom continue to work at Church Brothers today.
Church Brothers merged their sales with five other companies in Santa Maria in 2001. This became the company known as Fresh Kist.
In 2002, True Leaf Farms was founded with Tom and Steve Church being original partners in this venture.
In June of 2004, Tom and Steve Church parted ways with Fresh Kist, and in July of 2004, the current Church Brothers was born.
November 2004 brought together the nine partners who remain today.
Joining Tom and Steve Church, were Tom’s sons, Jeff and Brian. Jeff working in Sales and Brian in Production. Currently, Jeff is the Director of Commodities and Brian is the Director of Operations.
Vince Ballesteros, who began his career with the Churches straight out of high school became a partner and today serves as the Director of Sales.
Neil Milburn, former Fresh Western partner, Sales Manager and part owner of True Leaf Farms, became a partner at Church Brothers, handling National Accounts.
Jay Brown, who had a working history with Neil, joined the Church Brothers partnership as the Chief Financial Officer.
David Gill and Tim McAfee, original partners in True Leaf Farms, also became investors and partners in Church Brothers.
Between this group of nine, they have seen and done it all. The years of experience and their working relationship with each other is a recipe for success.
Hard work truly is its own reward. Church Brothers, LLC is proof of that.