CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In 2019, Joel Treviño started Dagon Produce to fill a need he saw in the Coastal Bend - connecting local farmers directly to consumers.
“I saw a lot of farmers coming home with produce after farmers markets, and I would ask them what they were doing with it, and they were just tossing it, composting it,” Treviño said.
Treviño started his business by delivering baskets of fresh produce to local restaurants but started delivering to individuals shortly after a friend suggested it.
“I still do focus on restaurants, I like doing that, because it gets the food out to the masses. But, the individual baskets, that’s kind of where the bread and butter is,” he said.
Dagon Produce currently works with eight local farmers, delivering their products in subscription baskets.
During the pandemic, Dagon Produce actually had an increase in business.
“I started getting more orders in, and people started saying, ‘hey, we don’t want to go out, can you just do this for us?’ I hired a couple of extra drivers, and we took as much precaution as we possible could, we went ahead and started delivering these baskets. So, it was a big increase, we went from delivering nine baskets a week to delivering about 60 baskets a week,” Treviño said.
However, the business did not only benefit the consumers receiving the food. It also helped out the farmers, who lost opportunities to sell their product directly to buyers because of the pandemic.
“The farmers were actually able to make a lot of money that they would not have made, because the farmer’s markets were closing down everybody was being cautious. They were losing money, so it was a great way for them to make the money,” Treviño said.
Treviño delivers some of the baskets himself, but he also hires local college students to help make deliveries.
“We’ve got college students working with us that take college classes, so they need the money, and it’s a great way for them to get to learn, and know about our community as well,” he said.
Treviño said his favorite part of his business is connecting farmers and consumers, and educating the people of the Coastal Bend on the options available to them.
“A lot of people take for granted that it’s right here local. It’s easier to grab it from HEB than it is to go to the farmer’s market. Dagon Produce is really hoping to get that delivery system down, so you don’t have to go to H-E-B to get your produce, you can get all that local produce, just like you would from the farmer’s market, delivered to your doorstep,” he said.
Dagon Produce offers weekly, twice weekly, or monthly baskets in four different sizes.