Welcome to Rincon Tropics: Subtropical fruit from me to you

Welcome to Rincon Tropics, an online, direct to consumer farmers market experiece! After months of web development and almost 2 years of planning the best way to easily offer our fresh produce to customers Nationwide, I am thrilled to be announcing the launch of our website and online store here at rincontropics.com ! What started out as Direct Messages from customers who missed our fresh produce at the Santa Monica Farmers Market during the start of Covid in 2020, to a friend helping me set up a Google form for local deliveries and the start of shipped boxes, has turned into a growing web of customers in all of the lower 48 states! It is thanks to you all, who have tried out our fresh produce boxes, sharing them with friends, family and neighbors, that the network keeps expanding and people are discovering what a difference farm to doorstep quality really means. By cutting out several unnecessary (and often damaging to the fruit) steps, we are able to now offer farmers market level freshness and directness to you, home cooks, families, restaurants, and fruit connoisseurs nationwide. 

Rincon Tropics currently is a single member team, me, but I could not have gotten to this point without the help and guidance of a few key people, who I won’t list here, but know that I am grateful for your help.

The fruit is grown and sourced by family members on our various farms in Carpinteria, CA. While we may grow the same types of fruits, each farm has a unique micro climate, soil type and topography and harvest time frame. What doesn’t change between the various groves is our commitment to growing the highest quality subtropical fruits that are unique to our location and our methodology. The fruit is sourced mainly from my dad, (Rincon Del Mar) my mom, (Gigi’s Rancho el Rincon) and my uncle (California Tropics). My godparents property next to us specializes in citrus and dragonfruit. My aunts farm specializes in citrus. Rincon Tropics exists because of this tight nit farming family/community that is committed to taking great care of the land, so that the bounty of the land may take great care of us. Rincon Tropics also serves as an avenue and vessel to distribute our harvests in an efficient manner, reducing the amount of potential waste from unsold product. Sometimes with farming it is hard to sell your crop if you have too much, or even too little. Some items are more time sensitive, and the local population might not be able to claim the harvest, but someone in a different location that might not have access to these items will jump at the opportunity. By spreading our harvest to a wider audience, it not only helps our small and diversified farms, but it creates direct channels with consumers unable to get this specialty high quality produce.

One of my first jobs as a kid was working in my family’s packing house, California Tropics. My job was to put the label stickers on each individual fruit, which is required for all fruit sold in a store/supermarket. I was quick, and had nimble fingers, and I enjoyed the work.  I loved being a small but key part of the efficient assembly line of cleaning, sorting, packing, labeling, boxing, stacking and prepping fruit for the journey across the country and across the world to their destinations in warehouses and stores. We still operate the packing house seasonally, but on a much smaller scale. One of the benefits of buying directly through Rincon Tropics though is that the fruit will have a much more direct journey to you. I now do a lot of these same steps, but the fruit only touches my hands before it touches yours 2-4 days later. No refrigerated trucks zapping the fruit of flavor from the extreme cold, no warehouses, no ethylene gassing to ripen fruit, no stacking fruit on the grocery shelf for anyone to squeeze and bruise. It goes from me, to you.

My two older sisters and I all went to college out of state, and while it was a great experience for learning and gaining perspective, it also meant no good fruit… This was really where the boxes of fresh fruit from the farm originated for us, because our parents would send us seasonal boxes to remind us of home. These were the BEST mail days, and it didn’t take long for friends and neighbors to catch on either! I know firsthand just how exciting it is to open up a box of freshly picked fruit, knowing it’s going to be better than anything I could get in the store. Rincon Tropics fruit boxes are a great way to treat yourself, a family member, friend or neighbor, and it is sure to be a memorable experience of delicious subtropical fruits.

The goal of Rincon Tropics is to continue to offer the freshest, tastiest and highest quality subtropical and unique produce to as many people as we can. The farming, cooking, and creating world that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of has resulted in some amazing collaborations so far. I will be featuring recipes created by some truly talented chefs, who’s recipe blogs easily walk you through the steps to make their delicious creations using our produce. Fun and informative podcast episodes, talking about history, food, farming, and more! And this blog page here will be a sort of “Farmers Journal” where I plan to keep you all informed with what I’m up to, what I’m growing, what’s in season, and more! While I can’t grow every delicious fruit out there, I would love to hear from you, see what you’re making with our produce, and I especially enjoy hearing about the memories our fruit invokes for you all. Food is such a powerful thing, and I will do my best to continue offering only the best experiences I can with Rincon Tropics produce. Please feel free to follow along and tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok, all of our socials are @RinconTropics. I can’t wait for you all to get your first box and to see what you make with our fresh and seasonal fruit. Thank you for your support!

-Nick

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