Explosive Beginnings

You might say that the David E. Grimes Company “exploded” into the garlic industry. In fact, it was the explosion of a 5,500 gallon butane tank at the Fred Carter Company in 1983 that propelled David into his own garlic company. That explosion destroyed Carter’s operation and left David unemployed-but not for long.

A Seed Sprouts

Through the generosity of Don Christopher, who lent David the money, a new enterprise was born. The David E. Grimes Company will celebrate its thirty second anniversary in 2010, but David can count thirty seven years of garlic sales, growing & packing experience. Last year an estimated 250 million pounds of garlic was harvested in the USA and David was involved in 24,000,000 pounds of it between sales & harvesting. Because garlic consumption continues to grow despite the changing world market, David expects to be around for a fiftieth anniversary.

The first site of David’s growing and packing operation was in Firebaugh, California with a partner Pete “Sprout” D’Archenglais. He later sold that operation to Dalgety Foods, but always retained the ownership of the David E. Grimes Company logo and trademark. The logo is seen on his boxes of garlic sold as “David’s Best.”

David’s Best

The logo is actually a sketch taken from the photo of David and his horse Popcorn accepting the Blue Ribbon for placing first in the Working Stock Horse Class at the Santa Cruz County Fair. Indeed, it was “David’s Best” that night, but he and Popcorn won many prizes before Popcorn went to the “big corral” in 2002 at the age of 32. David continues to cowboy with his other horses, but Popcorn was the best.

The Road to Coalinga

From Firebaugh to Dalgety Foods in Salinas, he then went home 1990. With his logo and trademark, he restarted his brokerage business in a small room off his garage. While concentrating on direct sales and offering on site inspection for his customers, 1993 opportunity came to join a newly formed garlic packing company known as Sequoia Packing Company. Now, in addition to his own company, he was the general manager of a small two-grader packing shed in Lemoore, California.

By December 1996 Sequoia expanded and broke ground in Coalinga and now is probably the largest facility in the United States because under David’s direction 200,000 pounds of garlic can be processed in a day.

And miles to go before I sleep…

While Sequoia is headquartered in Coalinga and his home office is in Hollister, wherever there is a garlic field to check, he’s there. Translated into miles and acres, he checks approximately 1500 acres and puts around 35,000 miles on his pickup truck. If you add the air miles from trips to China, you might total (could miles equal pounds of garlic???)