Fresno agriculture company completes major expansion during pandemic
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Despite a drop in demand in some markets due to the pandemic, a Fresno ag company has just completed a major expansion. Expansion at Baloian Farms in Fresno came at a good time with so many vegetables now in season – like mini bell peppers. They were picked, packed and then shipped out to stores across the US and Canada.
Company CEO Tim Baloian said, “There’s three major retailers that we’re working with right now on consolidation, and then we work with wholesalers and there’s been increased demand.” The cold storage space has been expanded and the loading area has doubled in size from eight to 16 docks. That keeps the product moving in and out of the facility. Additional big rig parking has also been added.
Baloian said, “We can back a lot more trucks in and get these orders out much quicker than without these facilities.” In addition to bell peppers, Baloian also grows lettuce, squash and egg plant in the Fresno area, all the way to the central coast to keep up with demand. Baloian explained, “We do a lot of these commodities on a year-round basis, loading them either in Fresno or in Nogales, Arizona so we try to build our business as a year-round supplier of certain commodities.”
The retail market remained strong but the struggles continued for ag producers which supply restaurants and school cafeterias during this pandemic. Baloian said, “The food service sector of our business, which is a big part of what we do, is still suffering and is still down.” Baloian Farms survived its trial by fire. In October of 1993, Action News was there as fire destroyed its warehouse. The company was able to not only rebuild but gradually expand over the next few decades. Baloian said, “It’s by the grace of God we’re still in business.”