Although Dallas Distributing Company was established in 1985, their family history within the sweet potato industry dates back to almost a century ago and spans over the course of five generations. It all began when Patriarch Theodore Dallas settled in the Atwater, California area during the height of the Great Depression. Mr. Dallas found that the sandy loam soil and warm climate were ideal weather conditions for growing sweet potatoes. Over the years, his acreage continued to grow and as a result, so did his sweet potato business. Formerly known as T. Dallas & Sons and Dallas Bros. Farms, his business eventually evolved into what we know today as Dallas Distributing Co. What began as a small, family farm has since grown into a full-scale farming, packing, and shipping operation; employing more than fifty full-time employees. Today, Dallas Distributing continues to steadily supply their largest of customers with their produce, while also catering to small businesses such as restaurants and fruit stands.
INTERVIEW W/ DALLAS DISTRIBUTING BOB DALLAS
What has been your role in the family business?
I joined my brother, Tommy, back when we were still members of another Dallas co-op; Dallas Brothers Farms. In fact, our dad was the sales manager! The three of us decided to create Dallas Distributing Company so that we could market our sweet potatoes ourselves. We believed that the future of sweet potatoes was not just in farming the produce itself, but also packaging and distributing as well.
What is your favorite part of being in the Ag industry? We have found a sense of independence within the Ag Industry. There is a fairly small market for our produce and as we continue to grow, we haven’t required assistance from investors, so we tend to be left alone – unlike some of the larger sectors of Ag. We are proud to have that independence! Which do you prefer- yams or sweet potatoes? That’s a trick question; they’re all sweet potatoes! It really just depends on your preference. Yams tend to be more moist and sweeter than a sweet potato. What's your favorite way to eat them? I like to keep them simple… Just put them in the oven and bake until you can put a fork through it. Then just add butter & a pinch of brown sugar.