Randy Main, general manager: “We are the world’s leader in manufacturing of candy canes. We produce year-round, six days a week, approximately 35M lbs. a year. Four different families of candy– pure sugar sticks, pure sugar twists, mini canes, and candy canes of a variety of flavors and colors and sizes.”
Dulces Famosos is owned by Ferrera Candy Co., one of the top candy manufacturers in the U.S.
Randy Main: “I think the kind of the unique thing about our products is that there’s not a lot of high technology out here. This is pretty much old-time candy making– very much an art. Hand blending, hand shaping the stripes, hand placing them. Most of our products are hand weighed, hand packed, with very high-quality products and ingredients.
There’s something very special about this area, and that is just the relationship and support between both cities. There’s just a real concentrated focus on helping the industry grow.”
Well from the field to the grocer, how close can you get? In the Rio Grande Valley, pretty much as close as you can get.”
Rick Garcia, operator at Thompson Fruit Stand:”We are third generation farmers for citrus. I love working with the dirt. It’s kind of a hidden gem. We have always been known for really sweet fruit– whether it’s our grapefruit, or whether it’s our sweet oranges. The orange juice is our biggest mover– people can’t get enough of it, neither can I. It’s got wonderful flavor. What really makes us different is we are able to bring stuff from the field. There’s no preservatives. It’s 100 percent natural. It does help give better flavor to the product.”
Texas ranks third in agriculture production value in the U.S.
The valley is the largest producer of fruit and vegetables.
Rick Garcia, operator at Thompson Fruit Stand : “But everything is from Texas, and we are kind of proud of that. The honey comes from Texas also– some of it locally here in the Valley, it really helps to keep the ‘little guys’ in business. Come on by and visit us.”
Well we have seen the economy in our everyday sweet tooth, and in the soil that feeds our one-of-a-kind citrus. But it’s even in industries that may be harder to understand, but they are looking towards the Valley’s future.
Jorge Rodarte, vice-president: “A hydrogen plant for this part of the region is something new. There’s only
two companies that participate in the U.S. market with these type of sized plants. One of them is our company.”
Some of its uses are in the production of steel, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and oil refineries
One of the greatest potentials we have is in the auto industry. The oil cost is increasing every year.
Jorge Rodarte, vice-president: “In the next five to 10 years you are going to see vehicles– that instead of using gasoline or electricity– they are going to use hydrogen. And that is perfectly clean for the environment.The salaries that we pay are well above average in the area, so that gives our employees an advantage to have a better life.”
Sergio Martinez, president: “Rio Grande Valley has very good manpower. Good technicians that are always willing to learn. We have the best.”